Providing Warmth to People Experiencing Homelessness

A version of this post first appeared on Canada Helps in December 2020.

The pandemic has been a challenging time for many Canadians. Our homes have been performing double and triple duty. They are now also our offices, gyms, restaurants, and even places of worship. Over the past 10 months, families gathering around a computer to engage with their loved ones on the screen have replaced in-person celebrations, and friends chatting via video miss the touch of a handshake or a hug.

Now imagine if the streets were your home. Picture what it would be like to carry everything you own on your back. Your days are focused on finding a warm place to sit, to sleep, and a hot meal to nourish you. Interviews with people experiencing homelessness have described the experience as feeling “rootless, alienated, exposed, and naked”. And the longer a person remains without a home, the more difficult it is to return to the mainstream of society. As Street Sense Media powerfully put it:

“Being homeless is destabilizing, demoralizing and depressing. You’ve lost your base, a foundation from which to function. It becomes hard to focus. Constant obstacles chip away at your self-esteem and your healthy personality withers, disintegrates, scatters.”

The rise of COVID-19 and the call for physical distancing has challenged the capacity of shelters, making accessibility and housing limited to those who need it most. This has forced many to seek shelter and warmth elsewhere. As winter approaches, so does the need for proper attire to face the cold. Having access to clean new socks allows individuals to travel in comfort and stay warm during a time where shelter and housing are limited.

During the pandemic we are not able to accept sock donations from workplace and school sock drives as usual. Fortunately, monetary donations no matter how small, go a long way.

Every $1 you donate provides a homeless person with 2 pairs of warm, new socks. Your generosity can help us spread warmth, comfort and dignity this winter season.

We thank you in advance for your donation, and will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that people experiencing homelessness receive a new pair of socks every week.