According to Global News, approximately 5,789 people are visibly living on the streets in Quebec and 3,149 of them are in Montreal. You may see these numbers as mere statistics, however, each one is a human being; each one needs help. While homelessness affects citizens in cities worldwide, several organizations are doing as much as they can to help those in need.
These organizations take donations year-round, however there are several fundraisers and drives that are held around the holiday season. For example, from November 18th to November 24th, participating restaurants in Montreal and Toronto will give a free glass of champagne to anyone who donates a pair of warm socks in partnership with Socks for Bubbly. Toe2Toe is another great initiative which works with Accueil Bonneau to collect warm socks and to date has collected more than 15,000 pairs of socks since 2014. The Shoebox Project is also holding their holiday drive from November 1st until December 6th. Simply fill a shoebox with appropriate items for women impacted by homelessness and donate it to one of their drop-off locations. As you can see, more and more businesses and organizations understand that homelessness is an issue that needs to be addressed and are doing their part to help.
For the past few years, the Old Brewery Mission, Maison du Père, Accueil Bonneau, and the Welcome Hall Mission have realized that they’re more effective at eliminating homelessness if they work together. Whenever one organization has an idea, it communicates with the others and they all brainstorm to see how they can make it more lucrative and with better outcomes. Whether it’s a charity event, fundraiser or an idea like using the old Royal Victoria Hospital as temporary shelter for individuals and their animal companions, and Projet Logement Montréal.
In the Winter of 1889, two Montreal women, Mina Douglas and Eva Findlay decided to offer warm meals to the poorest citizens in the city. On February 27, 1890, the Old Brewery Mission came to be. The women had found a donor who let them use an empty building that used to be a brewery. They turned it into a soup kitchen and the rest is history. You can read the complete history in more detail in the book, “Soup to Self-Efficiency”. All proceeds from the book sales go to funding the Old Brewery Mission.
Today, the Old Brewery Mission continues to help men and women of Montreal who are living through chronic homelessness. Their vision is to see the city as one where homelessness is prevented, treated and resolved. In order to aid the homeless as they work to find permanent solutions, they offer services and programs that provide individuals with essential needs while remaining true to their core values. These values include being caring and compassionate, respectful and maintaining tolerant, accountable, and professional while being innovative and collaborative.
The Old Brewery Mission is always open to receiving donations. Especially now with Winter upon us, the donations that will be given to those without a place to stay warm are incredibly important. The items that are needed the most this season are: winter coats, warm clothing such as tuques, mittens, scarves and warm socks, underclothes, toothbrushes and toothpaste, razors, and warm blankets/pillows.
It is Twenty West’s mission to make it easier for individuals to donate these items. For the second year in a row, they will be hosting their homeless drive to collect items. They will then do a large drop off at the Old Mission Brewery.
Last year during their first drive, they were able to collect 4 pairs of boots, 8 dog accessories, 9 bras, 16 pairs of gloves, 17 coats, 21 pants, 36 sweaters, 39 scarves, 46 hats, 51 shirts, 165 pairs of underwear (95% new), 240 Blankets (70% new), 823 pairs of socks ( 90% new), toiletries and more!
This year, the team at Twenty West would love to surpass these numbers and collect even more items, but they need your help! The second Annual Homeless Drive will start on December 2nd and end on December 13th. If you are unable to stop by during the work week, the team at Twenty West understands. On Saturday, December 7th, they will be opening their doors and will even have a special treat in store for those who drop off donations! From 9AM to 12PM, drop by 451 Beaconsfield Boulevard to donate items and meet the team! Have a cup of hot chocolate or coffee, enjoy some tasty treats, and let them say thank you for all your support. If you have any questions, feel free to call them at 514-700-0894, contact them via their Facebook Page, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are unable to donate items, the Old Brewery Mission has a new platform which enables you to still help. Make It Happen allows you to donate in other ways by donating on the fundraising page. You can come up with your own campaign and the money you raise will go directly to those in need. You can see more information on the official page here.
Please share this article to help get the word out about the drive! Twenty West will update everyone on the results of this year’s drive so you can see the difference you have made in the lives of others. On behalf of Twenty West and the Old Brewery Mission, thank you!
By Joanna Ahti