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Homeless People in Jane and Finch

In: Social Issues

Submitted By nickyheron
Words 1996
Pages 8
Many individuals would define leisure as time free from paid work, domestic responsibilities, and just about anything that one would not do as part of their daily routine. Time for leisure and time for work are both two separate spheres. The activities which people choose to do on their spare time benefit their own personal interests as well as their satisfactions. While some people may enjoy one activity, others pay not. Leisure is all about personal interests and what people constitute having a good time is all about. Some may say that the process of working class leisure can be seen to contribute their own subordination as well as the reproduction of capitalist class relations. Self-produced patterns of working class leisure can lead to resistance to such reproduction. This leads to social class relations and inequalities, and the fact that it they can never be completely reproduced in the leisure sphere. This film Home Feeling: Struggle for a Community, gives some examples of the role of leisure within a capitalist society dealing with issues such as class inequalities, and how they are different among various societies.

One might define the relations between police and community relations in the Jane and Finch area of Toronto to be very discriminating. The start of the film already gives some insight on the issue which the film is trying to portray. A coloured man’s is being harassed because the police do not think that he has ownership for the van to which he claimed he owned. The police were violating his rights and treating him in an impolite manner simply because of the standard that has been set, claiming that all coloured individuals are violent and dangerous. This is also the case because the film has been recorded in the Jane and Finch area; where people are looked down upon and regarded as dangerous, violent and unemployed.

The video Home Feeling: A struggle for Community covers the lives and individual stories of the residents of the Jane and Finch area, primarily the Indians who make up at least 15% of the immigrants who reside in the area. The residents of the Jane and Finch area have strong feelings against the police who constantly wander their community looking for trouble or trying to cause some of their own. Many blame the police for their frustrations claiming that they feel they have no privacy because they are always being watched. Certain police officers are assigned specific duties to watch over the neighborhood for any suspicions and crime that may occur.

While many people within any given community may feel safe while having police watch over what goes on in the area, you rarely see this type of behavior occur within high-class white communities. While police claim that they are only trying to create better relationships with the Jane and Finch community, many feel that they can not enjoy any of their leisure time because of the fact that they can not do anything without being questioned or watched by the police. Not only is it hard for individuals to feel a sense of belonging and place within a community, but many families feel uncertain about their future and the futures of their children. Coloured people are constantly being discriminated against with the work world. Many employers feel that immigrants can not be trusted to hire as employees, as well as the fact that they are not well educated people. The film looks at one woman who is having trouble finding a job because she is black; she has applied for several jobs over the course of two years and finally, is hired by a company who agrees to pay her $4.50 per hour, not even minimum wage.

Unemployment is said to be the highest amongst women, young people and minorities. Most of them who do have jobs are underpaid as well as have jobs which require no skills or education, allowing for their salary to be low. Living in such a large city, Toronto, one would think that there are thousands of job opportunities available. Local manpower offices continue to receive thousands of people per day whom are seeking employment, however this problem did not seem to be decreasing back then. Minorities were simply looked down upon in the community.

The problem which arises in the Jane and Finch area is that a majority of ones spare time is leisure time. Since much of the community does not work, it is hard for one not to wander about the city and find ways to enjoy their free time. During leisure time, individuals are said to be doing their own thing and taking some time away from their troubles in life, however, the Jane and Finch community feels that their leisure time is limited due to the fact that their actions are constantly being watched by the police and they are always being violated against whether it be on the streets or in their own homes. So a majority of the community do not bother to leave their homes for the simple reason that they will be harassed by the police and questioned for no apparent reason. This limits their leisure time primarily because everyone has the right to life, liberty and freedom, but it is still difficult to understand how one can enjoy life, when they are constantly being discriminated against for no significant reason.

It is estimated that about 15,000 immigrants who have come to Canada, live in government subsidized housing. This is the highest in all of Toronto. A majority of the people who live there are single parents and teenagers who have no other ways of supporting themselves or a family. Many feel that government subsidized housing is just temporary for them and that they will eventually be able to leave the area and live somewhere better where their rights and limitations are not so limited. Many stereotype people living in government housing to be bums and having nothing, while the area in general is claimed to be one full of murders, rapists and simply a bad area to be in. People have no choice but to live in Ontario housing, and a majority of society can not come to terms with that. It is the fortunate ones who are always looking down upon the unfortunate. This is how specific communities are labeled. Many people fear going to Ontario housing if they do not live there, based on the facts that society has made known for everyone to comprehend.

The role in which leisure has amongst the relationships between leisure, place and identity, all affect one another. There are a few types of geographical conflicts over leisure, one of them being between leisure and non-leisure activities and uses of place. Within the Jane and Finch community conflicts are both gendered and raced centering out mostly males whom are coloured. A majority of hangouts the Jane and Finch community hang out in are constantly being patrolled by the cops whom are on the lookout for danger and crimes. Many of the police officers are concerned with the issue of drinking, drugs, and parties on the streets. This type of behavior does not only occur within immigrant communities, but can happen anywhere, anyplace, and anytime with just about anyone. This is common behavior amongst teenagers in any given community who are not out to cause trouble, but simply to have fun and enjoy their leisure time. Although they know that they may not be a treat to the community, many individuals may feel otherwise; that is how society works. Therefore the ways in which individuals use space can determine whether or not they will be discriminated against within a community, especially if the area is already looked negatively upon by given communities.

Another area of geographical conflict can be between formal mechanisms of social control and non-sanctioned Leisure activities. A Majority of the time, different races of people or groups of people can be excluded from particular places within certain areas. For example, many blacks and immigrants whom have come into Canada have been excluded from the workforce and many are unemployed. People who have control over large government agencies tend to look at this issue as something that is not a big deal. In today’s society, employers are looking for individuals whom are well educated and have the proper skills to do certain types of work. One would not find a coloured man who is uneducated working in a large business office, primarily because of their lack of knowledge in that given field. However many employers find it unnecessary to give someone a chance and have to train them to do the work, when they can simply hire someone who is experienced and deserves the job. So many agents of social control try to prevent immigrants from work because they feel that they are not suitable for the job. Also, one would rarely find a black man in a white community probably due to the fact that he would be seen as dangerous and would more than likely be accused and arrested for committing no crime. This once again limits individuals whom are discriminated against, from doing certain activities and getting out in the community for the fear that they will be punished for trying to enjoy life and being human.

The third area of geographical conflict can be described amount different recreational uses of space. It has been previously mentioned that a majority of Ontario housing residents are teenagers and single mothers. When defining a space, we define who has access to it and what they are able and unable to do on that property. Many teens are said to be hanging around the building and in the stairwells and hallways of the housings. While they may not be causing trouble, this particular use of space can be very disturbing for some people, and they may generalize that inappropriate behavior is taking place. The different ways in which people use specific spaces can automatically create generalizations and conflicts amongst all types of people in any given community. However, individuals must understand where and when the appropriate times to act certain ways are therefore they do not get themselves in to any unwanted trouble.

In conclusion, the racist communities have severe physiological affects on the Jane and Finch community. Police are racist and constantly picking on the community and immigrants for no apparent reasons. This type of behavior only makes matters worse based on the fact that the colour of ones skin does not automatically define someone as a criminal or as a victim of danger. When the police in the Jane and Finch community were questioned about whether or not they felt as if they were racist, they stated that they felt that women and the elderly are more discriminated against within society than immigrants are. They also felt that allegations and police harassment and abuse will always be present in any era and location, not just in immigrant communities or more specifically the Jane and Finch community. Blacks are supposed to be a part of what is called the mosaic society; however it is quite evident that this is untrue. Blacks are trying to fit in to a society that is not welcoming to individuals of different races. It is not the location where they decide to live, because everyone has the right to live where they please, but it is other groups of individuals who make immigrants feel discriminated against and unwelcome based on stereotypes individuals set. Blacks and immigrants are simply just trying to start their lives in the Jane and Finch area, and then many have the hopes and dreams that they will move out into a better community to live their lives and start a family.

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MLA Citation: "Homelessness in the Jane and Finch Area of Toronto." 123HelpMe.com. 31 Mar 2016 .

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