As winter 2020 approaches, The Compass Food Bank and Outreach Centre is prioritizing its Winter Survival Program once again by assembling kits of warm clothes and other essentials for Mississauga’s most vulnerable people.
“This year, because of the pandemic, we’re all vulnerable to misfortune if we don’t take care, but when it comes to our homeless, the need for help is critical,” says David Onuoha, Program Lead for the Winter Survival Program.
“The pandemic has made it harder to keep in touch with our regular clients because we can’t offer our indoor programs,” says Onuoha. “We also know that this winter, we will see more job loss if businesses have more restrictions placed on them due to covid-19. It’s critical to us that no one goes without a winter jacket and other much-needed items this winter.”
A study by The Region of Peel found a total of 922 persons were experiencing homelessness in Peel in April, 2018. But that’s not the whole story. Studies by the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and The United Way say there are between 169,000 and 195,000 people in Brampton, Caledon, and Mississauga that experience poverty or are on the brink of becoming homeless.
“This time of year, those of us who are fortunate, usually sort through our winter clothing and determine what we want to keep and what is excess. If you’re doing that this week, please think of us and our drive to help those people who could really use those items,” says Austin Wilkie, the Project Manager for this year.
The following is a list of items most needed. The Compass asks that items be dropped off between October 26 and October 30:
-Sleeping bags, new or used – Extreme Temperature preferred
-Large-sized hiking backpacks, new or used, in good condition
-Blankets, new or used, in good condition
-Warm socks, new or used, in good condition
-Sweaters, new or used, in good condition
-Jackets, new or used, in good condition
-Scarves, new or used, in good condition
-Mittens and gloves, new or used, in good condition
-Hats/toques, new or used in good condition
-Hand warmers – new
-Underwear/undergarments – new
-Winter boots, new or used, in good condition
-Balaclavas – new
-Snow pants, new or used, in good condition
-Thermoses, new or used, in good condition
-Insulated foam mats, new or used, in good condition
-Tarps (for sleeping on), new or used, in good condition
The Compass stresses that only items dropped off from October 26 to October 30 will be accepted. Items can be dropped off anytime during that period in a 24/7 contactless donation bin at the back of The Compass Building, at 310 Lakeshore Road West, Mississauga, L5H 1G8.
For more information:
David Onuoha – 647-244-7114
Frances Misutka – 416-799-7483