Jeff Bierk of Encampment Support Network (ESN), a group of volunteers who organizes in a grassroots way to bring supplies, awareness, and acts of kindness to folks in the encampments across Toronto says,
“we’re just literally trying to take care of people … and we’re ensuring compassion is paramount,”(The Star, September, 2020).
ESN, notably not an organization but rather the organized efforts of compassionate neighbours, has been integral in providing folks living in encampments essentials such as toiletries, warm meals, water, ice, sleeping bags, and more.
They connect with local agencies, businesses, and keen individuals to activate a diversity of essential supports, wholly rooted in compassion . Ultimately, permanent housing is needed, and until then, our neighbours in the encampment require support and understanding.
Thus, Building Roots presents the Support Our Unhoused Neighbours Campaign.
On October 17th, Building Roots worked with ESN to organize “Food with Friends: Moss Park Encampment Action Day,” distributing over 100 warm meals from Tiffinday, with donations from Oh She Glows to folks in the Moss Park Encampment. We also supplied water and fresh fruit. We were truly inspired to see how the community and volunteers pulled together to make a wonderful impact.
Now, with the help of our friends at Harvey Kalles, we’ve quickly procured funds to provide 100+ sleeping bags and emergency blankets to our unhoused neighbours in the Moss Park Encampment, slated to go out at our next Action Day in November. We know this is necessary as the weather gets cold, and have heard first-hand from folks living in encampments that these supplies will be appreciated and potentially life-saving. Yet we also know that many more supplies are needed still.
If you’re interested and able to donate toward the Support Our Unhoused Neighbours Campaign, supporting the Moss Park Encampment and taking care of those folks in our community who could most use winter warmth, you can do so on our website. Please specify in the message that you would like these funds to be used toward this campaign.
If you’re interested in contributing other forms of support or supplies (such as warm meals, skids or plywood, water, warm clothing), please connect with Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org.