Helping Hands for the Homeless in Canada
According to a research by Homelesshub.ca, it’s estimated that about 230,000 experience homelessness in Canada in a given year. In fact, data from an Ipsos Reid poll in March 2013 suggests that as many as 1.3 million Canadians have experienced homelessness or inadequate housing. Not only do these individuals experience a diminished quality of life due to having insufficient shelter or none at all, they also experience constant threats to their lives due to poor conditions as a result of being homeless, especially during the winter months where the temperatures dwindle to -20 and even lower. Over the years, there has been a significant number of deaths due to hypothermia. In Saskatoon alone, the bitter cold temperatures resulted in 13 deaths.
Suffice it is to say, it’s a problem that needs to be prioritized. You can do your share in helping these people out by reaching out to the following organizations throughout Canada that are dedicated to directly help the homeless in Canada. These groups offer a load of volunteer opportunities so you can lend a hand. If you are unable to volunteer your time, you can still help through donations.
211 British Columbia Services Society
330-111 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia
bc211 is a nonprofit organization focuses on assisting the community by providing free information and referral, government and social services in BC. Those with homelessness issues can look into this organization for help through their wide range of services for the homelessness, including emergency shelters for families, mem, women, and youth. They can also lend a helping hand to those in need of household goods, meals and snacks, outreach, shower and laundry facilities, and transition houses for victims of violence. Their help line services include 211, the Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service (ADIRS), the Problem Gambling Help Line, VictimLink BC, and the Youth Against Violence Line. This organization is funded by the United Way along with British Columbia and City of Vancouver governments.
Accessible Housing Society
1212 31st Avenue N.E., Suite 215
Accessible Housing is a non-profit organization and registered charity dedicated to opening doors for people with limited mobility to acquire accessible and affordable proper housing. They have outreach and residential programs where they deliver housing and personal support. You can help through various means through this organization: by assisting at community events like festivals, fairs, or fundraisers, helping with site maintenance like painting or landscaping, and applying for leadership on committees and our board. You can also donate online.
Bathurst Youth Centre
895 Ste Anne Street
Bathurst, New Brunswick
Bathurst Youth Centre specifically caters to the youth by offering structured programs that tackle the most pressing issues tackled by the youth today. They also provide counseling, educational, recreational, and social activities all under a supervised setting. This centre believes in creating a healthy and positive environment for the young ones by providing leisure activities like dances, concerts, variety shows, cafes, pool tables, and games areas, and other sports. They also provide help for the kids’ employment needs.
227 20th St E. S7K 0A5
The Lighthouse specializes in providing affordable housing for the community, but it also caters to those in need of emergency shelters for those who have nowhere to sleep at night. The Lighthouse also provides counselling services to those who are at risk of being made homeless for various reasons. The Lighthouse provides numerous volunteer opportunities for the community including cleaning and maintenance, food, and leisure activities.
Old Brewery Mission
902 Saint-Laurent Blvd.
Montreal (Quebec) H2Z 1J2
The Old Brewery Mission is committed to providing Montreal’s homeless men and women their essential needs while remaining steadfast to finding practical and sustainable solutions to end chronic homelessness. This organization offers volunteer opportunities in meals preparation and food serving, office administration, and event management. They also accept professional services such as legal advice, accounting, translation, graphic design, and photography.