Everyone deserves a place to call home...
In Waterloo Region, chronic homelessness has gone up by 34% in the last 6 months, but together we can change this statistic! On October 29th, I will be participating in the Hockey Helps the Homeless Waterloo Region Tournament, raising awareness and funding for five local homeless support agencies.
... What brought me here?
Nine years ago, I moved into a downtown Kitchener apartment near a community meal program (aka. "a soup kitchen"). For the first time in my life, I had a more realistic window into the daily struggle of people living on the street and/or with addiction. I started asking myself, “What’s happening here? Do I have a role in this?”
In the years since, I’ve had countless colourful and memorable interactions with people in this neighbourhood. It’s changed me. I’ve been humbled, broken and uplifted by the stories I’ve heard. I’ve shifted my career to work in the housing and homelessness sector. I’ve watched beautiful people offer non-judgmental acceptance and care in even the most challenging circumstances. And I’ve seen how isolation and poverty can leave people with no where to turn.
... So what IS our role in this?
There’s more than one story when it comes to how people end up homeless and that’s why there is more than one way to help. You or I may not be the ones visiting a tent encampment to give COVID vaccines, supporting someone through a mental health crisis, helping people search for affordable housing in an overpriced market, or listening to someone tell their story of abuse and trauma... BUT by donating our time or financial resources we can ensure the amazing front-line teams have what they need to provide that type of support (and more!) to people living on the margins.
We can be gamechangers and help bring hope to people who are homeless, so they can become healthier, find stable and affordable housing, and exit the cycle of homelessness for good!
Wish to donate by cheque? Cheques should be made payable to Hockey Helps the Homeless and mailed to Head Office at 44 East Beaver Creek, Unit #4, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 1G8. Please specify player name in the memo line. Tax receipts will be issued upon receipt of the donation for all gifts $25 and above.