Shelter House Thunder Bay is encouraging community members to reconsider their Christmas list and give this holiday season. Today, the organization urged the public to give Food, Shelter, and Hope in response to the homelessness crisis experienced by over 17,000 low-income individuals in the City of Thunder Bay. Shelter House hopes to exceed last year’s campaign total of $120,000.
Brad King, Shelter House Thunder Bay acting executive director says, “We encourage all of our community members to remember the spirit of giving this holiday season and think of those who are doing without. Not everyone has a warm house or a family to go home to. The message Shelter House is sending is to give more than material possessions this Christmas. By supporting Shelter House, you are not just helping to feed, clothe, and shelter our residents; you are bringing hope to the community and those living in difficult circumstances, 365 days a year.”
Shelter House Thunder Bay provides over 700 nutritious meals each day, and warm beds for 77 people every night. In 2015, the organization assisted 156 people to get off the streets and move into housing and are part of a greater community response to help end chronic homelessness.
“We have seen, first-hand, how giving makes a difference. The number of individuals we were able to get off the streets last year with the community’s help is a great beginning but we are just getting started. With their support, we will continue working with our community partners to develop innovative solutions to homelessness,” says King. “Although Shelter House is facing financial difficulties, we know that our existing programs such as the emergency shelter, S.O.S. and the managed alcohol program are essential services that save lives. The success of the Christmas campaign is absolutely vital to ensure we can maintain these core programs. Giving now is an investment in the future of our community.”
King acknowledges that Christmas is often a time when we focus on consumerism and material possessions. “As we head into the stores, attend parties, and spend time with family and friends this holiday season it’s important to keep our city’s most vulnerable citizens in mind. Homelessness, food insecurity and poverty are a stark reality in Thunder Bay and the holiday season is the perfect opportunity to give the gift of hope to those most affected.”
Those looking to donate to the Shelter House Thunder Bay Christmas campaign can do so in person at Shelter House at 420 George Street, in Thunder Bay, at all TD Canada Trust locations, or by phone at (807) 474-4357.