GTA’S MOST VULNERABLE UNDER DEATH WATCH

TORONTO, Jan. 14, 2016 /CNW/ – Do not let the erratic seasonal temperatures fool you, winter is here and it is a deadly reaper preying on the city’s homeless and less fortunate. On Saturday, January 16, 2016Engage and Change’s Project Winter Survival will package 3,000 survival kits for distribution to those in need through approximately 168 social service agencies, homeless shelters, and outreach providers situated throughout GTA and surrounding areas: 8:30 am, The Bargains Group Ltd., 890 Caledonia Rd,Toronto.

While homelessness is a 365-day concern, winter in the GTA and surrounding area communities inflicts additional hardships for the city’s most vulnerable. “The growing plight of our city’s homeless goes from critical to deadly during the volatile winter season,” saidJody Steinhauer, Project Winter Survival founder. “No one should die from the cold or the effects of life on the streets in the winter months. Unfortunately, the 3000 kits that we provide can only offer marginal relief.”

DEMAND VERSUS SUPPLY 

In the GTA alone, there is an estimated 5,000 people sleeping outdoors and in shelters including about 900 homeless kids each night, with 9% of the homeless population sleeping rough (2013). As per this release, Project Winter Survival has received in excess of 10,500 requests for kits with an increasing number from youth shelters. Following the extreme deep freeze of 2014/15 that took the lives of four homeless men, Project Winter Survival anticipates a steady increase in demand. “Tragically the growing number of requests for kits far exceeds the total number of survival kits that we are able to fund through the generous support of our corporate and community partners,” said Steinhauer. “The call to action for more kits is NOW!

Each kit contains such items as sleeping bags, clothing, food, and personal and health care items that often make a difference between life and death. Since it’s inception in 1999, Project Winter Survival has assembled and distributed more than 26,000 winter survival kits to GTA and surrounding area homeless. For those less fortunate, a mere $25 donation per kit to Project Winter Survivaltranslates into a lifeline of hope against the threat of death by exposure. For more information or to make a donation, visitwww.engageandchange.org or www.projectwintersurvival.org.

Media Schedule: The Bargains Group, 890 Caledonia Road, Toronto

8:30 am Pack to commence
12:00 pm            Press Conference
12:30 pm Agency Pick-up
Time TBD Kit distribution to the homeless in the downtown core

 

To view the original release online, click here.


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