Toronto

Homeless, living at the the airport, the turning point for 1 man and his son

At 28, Prince Tutankhamun is making up for lost time with two-year-old Jordan. He spent his 20s couch-hopping, sleeping in stairways of low-rent towers on Weston Road and finally in the departures lounge at Pearson International Airport; adrift and homeless.

'My lowest moment was not being there for my son,' says Prince Tutankhamun

Prince Tutankhamun is now caring for his two-year-old son, Jordan full-time after getting off the streets. (Mary Wiens/CBC)

​At 28, Prince Tutankhamun is making up for lost time with his son, two-year-old Jordan.

When Tutankhamun was growing up, his own father contributed almost nothing besides bestowing on him his unusual name — Prince.

Homeless, living at the airport

From sleeping in stairwells to crashing on couches in the departures lounge of Pearson airport, Prince Tutankhamun spent the last 10 years of his life homeless. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

Without a template for being a father, Tutankhamun spent his 20s couch-hopping, sleeping in stairways of low-rent towers on Weston Road and finally in the departures lounge at Pearson International Airport — adrift and homeless.

"My lowest moment was not being there for my son for the first six or seven months of him being born," said Tutankhamun. 

Returning home

But in early November, Tutankhamun moved into his mother's townhouse and has begun looking after his son full-time.

"I will never give up on him," said his mom, Veronica Belle. "I want him to take responsibility for his son."

Caring for his son

Until recently Tutankhamun would only visit with his son in the park once a month.  Now he said, "I'm giving [Jordan's] mom a little break. Me and her are trying to work things out."

Tutankhamun credits the agency, Albion Community Neighbourhood Services, with connecting him to Ontario Works as well as volunteer work at the Weston-King Neighbourhood Centre in Weston.

My lowest moment was not being there for my son for the first six or seven months of him being born.- Prince Tutankhamun

Tutankhamun works in the kitchen at the drop-in, cooking and cleaning, or helping to unload the truck with its food deliveries, with Jordan by his side or in a stroller. At his mother's house, says Tutankhamun, he likes working with his hands, fixing doors and repairing appliances.

His ambition — to study carpentry and become a builder.  

Belle hopes that learning to care for his son will be a turning point.

"He needs to know what it is to be a parent. And they are bonding, together. That little boy loves his daddy so much," said Belle.

She says Tutankhamun craved that attention from his own absent father who left when he was only nine months old. "It's a deep, deep wound," Belle said.  

Tough as it was to stand by and watch her son drifting, Belle says she's never given up. "He's maturing," she said.

And there's lots of work at home, too.

"Lots to fix up," Belle said.


Sounds of the Season is CBC Toronto's annual charity drive. Please visit our website for details on the Dec. 2 event and how you can support local food banks.

With files from Metro Morning

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