Public sector still
spinning its wheels
Toronto Star, March 27, 2005
By Alison Uncles, Sunday editor
We promised an update on our story last week about Turnaround couriers
— a bicycle courier company staffed by homeless youth, believed to be
the only for-profit social enterprise in the city.
Here it is.
"We have eight new clients, and two or three more contacted us to ask
for material relating to the business, so we'll be busy with meetings
the next little while," Turnaround founder Richard Derham told Sunday
Star reporter Chris Young, the author of last week's cover story. "It's
all good. But there's been almost no response from the public sector."
In this space last week we had predicted Turnaround might well receive
government business after news of the unique business became public. At
least for the moment it appears we were wrong. (As we said, Derham does
not rely on government grants or handouts, but continues to try to woo
the government sector as a client.)
"The story did generate some heartening reaction outside of business
concerns," Young told me.
"A family moving house from Turnaround's Cabbagetown neighbourhood
donated two bikes. An accountant called to offer his services pro bono.
There were emails and phone messages of support from readers and
current Turnaround clients."
And, there was this.
"Topping them all was the letter that arrived via express mail on
Monday morning, addressed to Michael, a Turnaround courier who has been
estranged from his family and living in shelters for the past year.
"Inside was a card from his mother and stepfather — with a house key
taped to the inside."
Back to the Original Story
on Turnaround Couriers