WHY POVERTY

Alamy

What Are the Poor's Most Valuable Items?

I never thought that I would be thinking about treasures while making a documentary about poverty. But life is full of surprises, and last August I found myself scrupulously examining the most-prized possessions of Toronto's poor. And I must say, I was impressed. I spoke with a dozen of homeless people in Toronto. Almost all had treasures of some sort: a photo of a daughter, letters written before life on the street, a cherished dream about a slice of cheese cake or a bowl of salad. It was uplifting when people on the streets of Toronto told us that mostly they valued things of a non-material nature.

How Can a Warm Man Understand a Cold Man?

I went from a successful career as a television producer to living in a rent-geared-to-income unit in downtown Toronto, standing in line for a daily meal with many of the city's poorest, sickest and addicted citizens. But in the making of a film, and through the incredible support that was part of the process, I became a rich man.