Edmonton's homeless get a caring boost
Published Sunday, May 9, 2010 6:42PM MDT
Things like clothing, long distance phone calls and foot care aren't considered to be luxuries by most, but for Edmonton's 3,000 homeless they are things they simply couldn't access if it weren't for free volunteer-led events like Homeless Connect.
A lineup several hundred people long curled around the Shaw Conference Centre Sunday for the annual Homeless Connect event, which provides free services to Edmonton's less fortunate.
Brittany Sunshine was one of those who took advantage, bringing her 2-year-old son Noah to get a haircut.
"We're sort of living off my dad right now, so if we can do this to be less of a burden on him," said Sunshine.
Others took the time to make a long distance phone call, speak to a counsellor and get some free clothing.
Volunteeers say the services do much more than just provide a boost to Edmonton's less fortunate.
"They actually leave having accomplished something and I think that's really what we like the most about it," said Cecilia Blasetti from the Boyle McCauley Health Centre.
Event organizer Susan McGee says this year's event comes with a little more optimism. City initiatives have helped 600 people find homes in the last year.
"While we have a lot of guests here that are still homeless, it pervasive problem for sure, but we have been making a lot of strides in that area," said McGee.
While some of the services provided are temporary one man who left with a new haircut and glasses says he also leaving with a new outlook.
"There are people all over this city that just don't have the means or the wherewithal to get these services done, so this is a very good thing," said Christensen.
The next Homeless Connect event is being held in October. For more information click here.