It isn’t quite the season for mittens and toques, but advocates for the homeless are already thinking ahead to the cold months when some people are at their most vulnerable.
The items will be handed out in survival packs to hundreds of people-in-need during the fourth Project Connect, which gives people free access to necessities such as health care.
“I think there’s a lot of pressure on people to stretch every dollar they have,” said Debbie Thompson, executive director of the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, which is sponsoring the event.
The coalition is in need of gloves, hats and scarves, granola bars, deodorant sticks and many other supplies that will be given out at Our Place, 919 Pandora Ave., on Oct. 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The event, which coincides with the province-wide Homelessness Action Week from Oct. 9 to 15, is open to people aged 19 and over.
The day-long service and info fair, which drew 700 people last year, provides free haircuts, massage, acupuncture, replacement of health-care cards and Canadian birth certificates, help with resumes and tax returns and medical checkups.
A veterinarian team will provide pet care, and there will be a barbecue lunch.
A similar day-long initiative for families was held in April.
“I think it’s probably the only time when (people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless) can access so many services under one roof,” Thompson said.
Donations can be dropped off on Tuesday (Oct. 11) between noon and 2 p.m. in the basement of the Church of St. John the Divine, 1611 Quadra St. To arrange a pick up of large quantities, please call the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness at 250-370-1512.
Survival pack requirements:
Toothbrushes and toothpaste
Feminine hygiene products
Granola bars or other snacks
Action Week events:
Screening of the documentary, Home Safe Hamilton, at the Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas St. on Wednesday (Oct. 12), from 7 to 9 p.m.
Join a discussion on homelessness issues at the End Poverty: Action Learning Event on Oct. 13, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Fairfield Gonzales Community Place, 1335 Thurlow Rd.
Please call 250-383-6166 ext. 100 to register.