Direct to Street
When we first set out to give hygiene products directly to those living on the streets, we ventured into Toronto, where those experiencing homelessness are highly visible.
In the more rural setting of Northumberland County the residents we help are less visible.
They are referred to as the Hidden Homeless, as they often live in wooded areas, or couch surf, or live in a car rather than being highly noticeable on town streets and are therefore difficult to identify.
To address the local need we launched our Personal Care Community Cupboard, discussed below. In recent years the Opioid crisis and the Pandemic have resulted in those residents who are homeless or struggling becoming much more visible on the streets of Port Hope and Cobourg and other Northumberland communities.
Post-pandemic, we anticipate a need for the combination of both the Community Cupboard and Kit Outreach programs locally.
A. PERSONAL CARE COMMUNITY CUPBOARD
“Great job Rose. Big help to me with low income – lost my job due to Covid 19.” – PCCC user
Our first Personal Care Community Cupboard is installed in downtown Port Hope near the Town Hall and public washrooms. It has proved to be an essential outreach to those in need during the Pandemic.
This cupboard is available to anyone in need 24/7 so that users:
- Are not constrained to visit during limited social services’ hours.
- Do not have to identify themselves as being in need, and remain anonymous. Many people do not use social services because they are feeling vulnerable or are unwilling to disclose their situations.
The Community Cupboard is an access point for vulnerable people. In the future we plan to add information about local social services, and crisis phone numbers.This highly successful Community Cupboard is just the beginning. We plan to install many more cupboards in the future in other communities.
B. KIT OUTREACH
Prepared kits of hygiene products are distributed directly to those experiencing homelessness on the streets. Pre-Pandemic, the majority of our kits were given to the highly visible homeless living on the streets of downtown Toronto, as well as smaller kit deliveries by volunteers visiting other urban areas.
For Kit Outreach events, a large group of volunteers distributed kits, tarps, clothing, gift cards, water bottles, and other items that would be helpful to those living on the streets. Post-pandemic we plan to resume our Kit Outreach.
Our Custom Kits
- Custom kits are created to be handed out to those experiencing homelessness or are provided in bulk to fellow social service agencies.
- The kits are marked with: M – Male, F – Female, G – Gender Neutral. This informs volunteers who might best benefit from certain kits or give the recipients more information regarding potential scents or contents.
- These kits generally consist of travel size items for easy portability due to the circumstances of a majority of recipients of this style of kit.
What’s in the kit?
- New socks
- Anti-bacterial gel
- Gender Neutral/unscented deodorant
- Lip balm
- Travel tissues
- Soap holders
- Toothbrush holders/covers