Dennis Brooks says there are no warm places when you’re homeless. He should know. Originally from Glace Bay, N.S., Brooks, 54, was homeless in Toronto on and off for more than 20 years.

“Nobody’s experienced what we have, up and down these hard roads,” Brooks said while sitting in a church near Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue. “People have been beaten and beaten and beaten all our lives, like myself.”

During his homeless years, which ended this fall, Brooks says he drank too much, used drugs and was in and out of relationships. He was terribly lonely. He was assaulted. In summer, he would sometimes live in a tent.