BY ANA MATEESCU
The Collingwood Neighbourhood House Morning Star breakfast program has been running since 2004 and serves between 60 and 80 people every Saturday morning! Here homeless and tentatively housed people, from the Collingwood neighbourhood and beyond, are able to have a hot shower and get some clean underwear and clothes before a hot breakfast.
This program relies on the generous help of dedicated volunteers and donations from the local community.
Recently, the program partnered with the Girls Group from Windermere Secondary. The girls ran a very successful socks and underwear drive to support the participants of our homeless program! For two to three weeks they spent every lunch break promoting the drive at school and encouraging pupils and teachers to donate.
A regular attendee at the breakfast program, Michael Desbiens, went along to meet the girls to say thank you.
Michael has been coming to the Morning Star breakfast program for a number of years. For a long time, Michael was homeless and living on the street; he connected with the outreach workers at Collingwood and they helped him to apply for housing and eventually he got a roof over his head. He is healthier and happier now but he knows how important it is for someone who is homeless to have basic needs met such as having clean, dry socks and underwear.
On May 30 Michael visited Windermere Secondary and had lunch with the girls who participated at the drive. It was an amazing afternoon with interesting discussions and Michael said he felt again “young and full of hope” by listening and witnessing how these girls are making plans how they want to change the world.
Michael talked about his experiences and the girls plan to come and volunteer for the breakfast program every Saturday and engage other secondary schools from the Collingwood Renfrew area to raise awareness of homelessness.
A video story about May 30 Windermere Secondary girls group action is on the Collingwood Neighbourhood House website and Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIALpiJmP8I
Donate and shop!
The Morning Star breakfast program is always accepting donations of clean socks and underwear. You can also drop off donations at Vancity on Joyce and Kingsway.
Would you like to shop and help the community at the same time? Come check out our Collingwood Summer Market! On Saturday, August 19 there will be a yard sale on the front lawn of CNH with a wide variety of interesting items sold, with plenty of bargains. All the money raised will support CNH’s homeless program.
Come every Tuesday and Thursday 11-2pm in August and September in front of Collingwood Neighbourhood House to shop and support people who are struggling with poverty and homelessness.
Ana Mateescu is the homeless programs coordinator at Collingwood Neighbourhood House.
Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News