Since our last update at the end of October, we have delivered 3 boxes of underwear, socks and long underwear to Inn from the Cold.

In November we collected Shoeboxes for Shelter, which were picked up and delivered for distribution this Christmas to women living in shelters over Christmas. Thank you all very much for your generosity to both these projects.

For December, we are inviting you consider a financial donation to either Inn from the Cold or FaithWorks.

Inn from the Cold has embarked on a Capital Campaign to build a 16,000 square foot housing centre. The new housing centre will not only provide an emergency shelter and programing space, but featuring a significant increase in the number of transitional housing units. Emergency Shelters are a stop gap measure, but to really assist people in becoming housed long-term, transitional housing units are essential. Inn from the Cold started Stability Now in January 2018, with housing for four chronically homeless men. Residents are able to stay for up to 18 months and work with a case manager to achieve set goals and find permanent housing. According to Inn from the Cold, 75% of those who have completed Stability Now are successfully housed for 6 months or more, something that was not possible without the program. In the new housing centre there will be 18 transitional beds, in addition to the dormitory shelter for 26 people. As well, there will be more dedicated space for programs, outdoor garden and recreation space, that are not possible in their current location. To learn more about the “All Inn!” Capital Campaign and watch the video, please follow this link.

FaithWorks was created by the Diocese of Toronto over 25 years ago and over that time has provided over $35 million to Anglican-affiliated ministries. These are ministry partners involved in caring for the Homeless and ex-prisoners, newcomers and refugees, at risk women, children and youth, Indigenous Peoples and those impacted by HIV/AIDS. Recently when we prayed for FaithWorks on the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, Rev. Dana recently wrote about FaithWorks in her weekly email, highlighting, the new focus on supporting the Spirit Garden, a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action #82 – the installation of a Residential School Monument in each provincial capital as a place of learning, sharing and healing. We are highlighting this December they have seen a 35% increase in need by their ministry partners. To learn more about FaithWorks donations you can follow this link. So this December as we remember and give thanks for our many blessings, we pay it forward, blessing others through these and other organization.

Update from Helping Hands Food Bank

Helping Hands Food Bank is going to be providing us with quarterly updates. Here is their update to the faith communities:

As you know, the uncertain economic times have been affecting our most vulnerable residents and things do not look like they will improve in the near future. Our food bank has seen an almost 60% increase in food bank visits over the past two years.

Here is a breakdown of statistics on a smaller scale:

363 visits in August: represents 1,030 individuals

402 visits in September: represents 1,220 individuals

389 visits in October: represents 1,091 individuals

We are seeing anywhere from 20 to 41 new families per month. There has also been an increase in the number of new Canadians accessing our food bank, including refugees from Ukraine, Mexico, Peru, and Afghanistan. We will be embarking on our Holiday Hamper Program soon. We will be providing grocery store gift cards again this year, which will allow people to purchase their own food for their holiday dinner. Clients who receive food via our Delivery Program will receive a food hamper that will be delivered right to their door and will include everything they will need for a holiday dinner plus some extras. In terms of most-needed items, we are currently short on peanut butter, juice boxes, tuna, baked beans, and pasta sauce. Hygiene items like soap, shampoo, deodorant, menstrual products, baby wipes and diapers (sizes 4, 5 & 6) are also in demand. Financial contributions go a long way, as we can buy in bulk at a discount at our local grocery stores.