Ottawa, ON – Thursday, October 10, 2019 – Today local decision makers came to serve breakfast in Shepherds of Good Hope’s Soup Kitchen, bright and early at 7:30am for World Homeless Day. Shepherds of Good Hope provides breakfast to its shelter clients every morning, but on this day, extended breakfast hours to serve a hearty breakfast to both its clients and the broader community.
Local elementary and high school students have sent Shepherds of Good Hope over 600 Helping Hands to participate in our Lend a Helping Hand Campaign for World Homeless Day. The cut out hands have kind, hopeful messages for a person experiencing homelessness. This initiative has helped to educate Ottawa’s young people about the stigma surrounding homelessness and give them the opportunity to empathize with and encourage someone who is struggling.
Shepherds of Good Hope clients also presented the politicians with messages to have their voices and experiences heard on World Homeless Day. Our community came together today to support individuals who are homeless, precariously housed and living with trauma, mental health challenges and addictions, Shepherds of Good Hope wants our community to know that they and their votes matter. Their voices need and deserve to be heard.
Quotes: “It’s important for service providers like Shepherds of Good Hope to bridge the gap for homeless individuals to access essential services and to end the stigma against homelessness. We wanted to use World Homeless Day as a way to raise awareness with local decision makers and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness. We are hopeful that days like today will help to lessen the stigma around homelessness and raise awareness about our community’s responsibility to ending homelessness.” –Deirdre Freiheit, President and CEO, Shepherds of Good Hope
World Homeless Day is an opportunity for us to reflect on the systems that create and maintain homelessness; systems we can positively impact. We can advocate for affordable housing with community supports. We can help organizations whose values align with ours. We can speak out against stigma and discrimination. We can educate ourselves about the links between homelessness, trauma, mental health and addictions. We can see homeless people for who they are. People, who deserve to be valued and respected. On World Homeless Day, let’s change our corners of the world one day, one person, one action at a time. We can end homelessness together. Let’s do it.
Homes for all. Community for all. Hope for all.