Volunteer group from Toronto helps Vancouver’s homeless
Backpacks stuffed with items being handed out
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Vancouver’s homeless are about to get some extra help from a volunteer-based organization based in Toronto that is setting up shop here for the first time.
Project Winter Survival founder Jody Steinhauer says the inspiration came from seeing homeless people who refused to go into a shelter. The 145 backpacks stuffed with 30 items including blankets, a rain poncho, and hygiene products, are aimed to get people off the street.
“Nobody chooses to live on the street and there are many, many reasons I like to bring forward why people are on the streets. If they have an animal [or if] you’re a couple… then it’s tough to find a place.”
Steinhauer explains there are some things people value more than others, and it differs from city to city.
“From what your teams have told us, the most important thing is a blanket. In Toronto, for example, they use a sleeping blanket.”
She adds bars of soap, a facecloth, and a pen also make the list of vital items. “A pen is a really valuable thing for a homeless person, believe it or not. This kit only has the bare necessities because, in many cases, it’s all a person has.
“We also include a nutrional snack [and] a bottle of water because people can only live for three days without being hydrated.”
Last year’s homeless count found there are about 1,600 homeless people in Vancouver. However she walked through the streets last night and believes the actual number is a lot higher.
She feels the solution to helping the homeless is long-term housing with supportive services.
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