Join Us In Our Mission: The Support Our Unhoused Neighbours Campaign

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 hannah@buildingroots.ca.

Citations:

https://www.blogto.com/city/2020/09/tent-encampments-trinity-bellwoods-park/

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-homeless-tents-shelters-pandemic-1.5746955

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/09/22/were-just-literally-trying-to-take-care-of-people-encampment-support-network-provides-supplies-and-compassion-to-homeless-people-camped-out-in-toronto.html

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/toronto/article-judge-dismisses-application-from-homeless-advocates-to-suspend-ban-on/

Resiliance & Presence: Winter Changes at the Moss Park Market


Nine months into 2020, we’ve had six months of living a new life. As we collectively learn a lesson about presence, resilience can be an underappreciated theme. Our resilience is founded in doing what we do best, safely, to get through the current difficult period together.

At the Moss Park Market, we’re making a few adjustments to how fresh food will be picked up this winter season. We want everyone to stay warm and safe in the coming colder months.

From 11am to 4pm, we’ll have five pick-up time slots of one hour each.

If you are already a regular at the market, nothing much will change; we just hope to shorten wait times. If you do not yet have a time slot, we will still serve you. We are just asking for cooperation in planning a pick-up slot once you do come!

Ultimately, our offerings are pay-what-you-can, but we suggest a donation of $5 for one bag or $25 for 4 weeks.

The Moss Park Market is fueled by community support: your presents support our presence. But we don’t define people by their ability to support us financially. We want to support our community’s resilience – you are welcome here.

We are always finding ways for helping hands to stay busy. If you want to get involved with Building Roots, you can follow us on social media to find opportunities.

If you have any questions about the new pick-up process, you can talk to us in person at the Saturday market.

We’ll see you soon. We’ll be there.

It’s Time to Connect – Building Roots Brings the Candidates to the Community

On Oct. 19, 2020 Building Roots hosted its Toronto Centre By-Elections Candidates Online Meeting and we couldn’t be more proud of what we crafted.

We were fortunate to have some positive energy from our community partners and support from the outside media to pull it all together.

We wanted to share this inspiring piece by Alastair Sharp of Canada’s National Observer as a great follow-up on the issues we are addressing entitled:

Moss Park residents hear from NDP candidate, new Green leader hoping to fill Morneau’s seat

Full link for the Article follows or click the photo below:
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/10/20/news/moss-park-residents-hear-from-NDP-candidate-new-Greens-leader

The park that gives the Moss Park neighbourhood its name has housed a tent encampment during the COVID-19 pandemic that has laid bare the lack of government action to help the most vulnerable.

Higgins and others from Building Roots have been hustling to engage low-income residents in the byelection campaign by telling them how and where to vote during the community group’s regular Moss Park Market events.

“They really want to see a community champion in this role,” he said of residents he’s spoken with recently, noting that “getting people to talk about what they care about has helped to grow the awareness and to think about what it is possible to change for the community.”

Also, you can catch the recap video of the entire Toronto Centre By-Elections Candidates Online Meeting on our Youtube channel below

Thank you for all those that tuned in and we are grateful for everyone who watched it afterwards!

For more information on political participation, or, how to vote visit www.elections.ca