Meet Alex Zsager: Advocate, Activist, Community Researcher

photo of Alex Zsager, community researcher



Meet Alex Zsager: Advocate, Activist, Community Researcher

Alex Zsager knows firsthand how easy it is to become homeless. Alex had a successful career, working for high profile organizations like the Vancouver Canucks, until he unexpectedly lost his job during an economic downturn, and couldn’t find work. When his savings ran out, Alex lost his apartment. He found a bed at Schoolhouse, one of Dixon Hall’s two shelters.

Being homeless took a toll on Alex, and his mental health suffered. Soon after arriving at Schoolhouse, he found himself dealing with increased depression and anxiety. He struggled with his lack of success in finding work during his first year in the shelter system. Alex decided to try something new, in hopes it would motivate him further. Over the next 4 years, Alex got involved in the community. He started volunteering with the Good Neighbours Club (now Haven Toronto). Eventually, his volunteering led to a job as a personal support worker.



How Data Will Shape Our Strategies: The Innovative Solutions to Homelessness Project

We’ve embarked on a new research project to try and find better solutions to end homelessness.



Supporting Caregivers of People Living with Dementia


As the population of Ontario ages, the dementia rate continues to rise sharply. A dementia diagnosis can be very challenging for families to deal with, and often leads to more questions than answers. Although there are plenty of resources available that provide detailed, up-to-date information about dementia and the types of behaviours that can be expected from someone living with dementia, what many caregivers and family members find most helpful is an opportunity to connect with others who are going through a similar experience. That’s why Dixon Hall decided to launch a Caregiver Support Group in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Toronto for anyone who is affected by dementia – whether through a family member or friend.

Since March of this year, the group has been meeting once a month, to offer caregivers a safe space to discuss their experiences and challenges. Discussions are guided by a social worker, and



Out Of The Cold 2017-2018: How Seasonal Programs Can Inform Permanent Solutions To Homelessness

Read our second annual Out of the Cold report, analyzing 2017-2018 season stats, and more.



Getting Musical in our Alzheimer Day Program

June is Seniors’ Month in Ontario – an opportunity to celebrate seniors in our communities. This year’s theme “Now’s the Time to Try Something New” inspired our staff to introduce new programs for seniors in our day programs.

Thanks to funding from the Ontario Dementia Strategy, our Seniors’ Department recently introduced new music programs as part of our Alzheimer Day Program.  Every two weeks,  members enjoy an afternoon of music lessons using one of three new instruments: African drums, ukuleles, or hand chimes.


Last week, seniors had their first ukulele lesson – an instrument many were unfamiliar with. Initially, there was some hesitation and apprehension as seniors held the ukuleles for the first time; some members handled the ukulele very gently. But once everyone received their ukuleles, nervousness evaporated and was replaced by a sense of comfort, as members recognized they were all in it together.

The ukulele was chosen for a number