2 Things You Can Do to Help The Homeless
If you’re wondering what you can do to help, here are a few options:
#1 Make a Donation (either monetary or material) See below for a list of organizations and links to their websites, as well as for a list of items that are always needed and appreciated.
#2 Open your heart and open your mind Smile at people when you see them on the street and/or say hello. Let them know you see them; that they are not invisible. Everybody’s got a story and you never know what someone has been through or is going through.
2 Things You Can Do to Help End Homelessness
#1: Get Informed
There is so much information out there; it can get overwhelming very quickly, so I’ll keep this short and sweet:
35,000 Canadians are homeless on any given night. In the course of a year over 235,000 Canadians will experience homelessness. It costs more to do nothing than it would to house people.
The crisis of homelessness in our country can be traced directly back to federal spending cuts to affordable housing and welfare starting in the 1980’s. There is no excuse for homelessness and poverty being so widespread in an affluent country like Canada. Policy played a role in creating this crisis and it has a big part to play in ending it.
Source: Stephen Gaetz, Tanya Gulliver, & Tim Richter (2014): The State of Homelessness in Canada: 2014. Toronto: The Homeless Hub Press. You can download the report here.
#2: Let your elected representatives know you are informed and care about affordable housing and homelessness — so they should too.
It is important to let your elected representatives know that you (their constituent) care about affordable housing and homelessness and you want that reflected in policy. It’s literally their job to listen to you.
**For a list of items needed by our front line member agencies, click here.**
To support Saint John’s men’s Emergency Shelter Check out www.giveanight.org
To support Saint John’s Emergency Shelter for women, click here.
To support Safe Harbour, which is currently under construction in the South End and will provide emergency and transitional housing to homeless youth, click here.
To support First Steps Housing, which provides housing for pregnant and parenting young moms, click here.
To support Fresh Start, which works to reduce poverty and homelessness by offering support, education and advocacy to those in need, click here.