Vancouver Island bailiff ordered to evict elderly couple finds them new home

"Whenever you have to ask somebody to leave their home of many years, it’s never a good thing."

When Jared Torontow was told to evict the couple, he saw they needed help and called a local housing nonprofit

Jared Torontow has been a court-appointed bailiff on Vancouver Island for 15 years. (CHEK)

For 15 years Vancouver Island's Jared Torontow has worked as a court-appointed bailiff, where following up on foreclosures and forcing people to leave their homes is part of the job.

But recently Torontow went above and beyond his job requirements — finding a new home for an elderly couple whom the court had ordered him to remove from their house in the Cowichan Valley.

Torontow said when he met the couple in December he saw that they were living in "poor conditions" and would struggle to find a new home because they were in a remote area and didn't have a telephone.

Worried couple would become homeless

"My concern was that I was going to show up here in January to remove them, and they were not going to have a place to go to," Torontow said.

"That means that their belongings would end up in storage, at some point in time they would end up going in the garbage, and here we would have two people become homeless and lose all their worldly belongings.

"These people definitely needed some help," he said humbly.

Torontow contacted local non-profit the Duncan Housing Society, which managed to provide a new home for the couple.

Angela Ross of the Duncan Housing Society said she was surprised when she was contacted by Torontow.

"He was the bailiff assigned to go and take care of business, and he's taking time out of his busy life to be calling me to see what he can do. How do we find affordable housing for these people?"

Torontow also brought food and a gift certificate courtesy of the Mustard Seed organization to the couple when they were moving out.

"Everything fell into place very nice, and it has a happy ending," Torontow said.

"They're very thankful to me, and to everybody who's come to them to allow them to move on, to get a fresh beginning."

Torontow admits that his line of work isn't easy.

"Whenever you have to ask somebody to leave their home of many years, it's never a good thing," he said.

"When we come to have the matter resolved, to enforce the court order, the people who we're asking to leave, they're not the winners, they're the people that have lost the battle.

"I'm just very happy that this is the way it played itself out."


To hear the full story listen to the audio labelled: Bailiff helps find a forever home for struggling elderly couple

With files from Keith Vass and Kendall Hanson/CHEK

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.