Sunday, December 21, 2008

Feeding the homeless and the disabled

Served from a big pot at Gore Park in Hamilton by the young folk associated with "Food Not Bombs, which is an anti-nuclear project with a positive emphasis (OPIRG -McMaster. Well done young people!
A gourmet meal?

A disabled person, without an electric scooter or wheelchair - using his arms to propel himself around.

Sharing a meal, not with family but with strangers.

Many people think that homelessness can ever happen to them, but think again.

From my work with street people in Toronto through the Salvation Army, I learned a great deal about this inhumane situation.

What are the causes of homelessness? There are many, many causes but here are just a few:

1. Loss of employment

2. Lack of affordable housing

3. Social assistant cheques which do not even cover basic needs.

4. Mental health issues

5. Catastrophic medical costs (OHIP does not cover everything)

6. Lack of employable skills

7. Ill health or sudden disability

Those are just a few which can affect ordinary people, just like you and me.

In my work with street people, I learned to see the person, not the situation which he or she found themselves in.

With the economic climate the way it is today, even in an affluent country such as Canada, people need assistance just to survive.

My hat goes off to a group of young people who each Sunday afternoon serve homemade soup and bread to the people who come to Gore Park. I have seen them go to the merchants in the Farmer's Market on a Saturday just before closing time and get donated vegetables which cannot be sold anymore but are still useable.

It warms my heart to know that there are young folk who see beyond themselves and see a need and fill it! They are making a difference!

Today, also was Mission Services Christmas meal for people in need. They served all ages and with a smile. Volunteers served up food from hot plates to waiting people. What this Agency did and its staff and volunteers sure did make a difference.

I can remember peeling potatoes in Toronto for a similar type of dinner - thought I would never come to an end of the potatoes but finally did! It was worth it, though, after when I saw hungry people being fed and kept warm on a cold winter's night.
Out of the Cold Programmes are also very good. Many churches run them both in Hamilton and in Toronto. In Hamilton, one synagogue also contributes to the food for this programme.
In the Mosques, help is given through benevolent gifts during Eid (one of the two festivals in Islam). I.S.S.R.A. (Islamic Social Services and Resources) and various mosques also have programmes to help the poor as well.
As in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and many other world religions, charity is considered part of the religion.

My hats off to all people who make a difference!


Jefferson said...

The group of young people putting on the dinner at Gore Park on Sunday afternoons are with "Food Not Bombs" part of an antinuclear protest with a positive emphasis, not just NO but YES. They work with OPIRG-McMaster.

annaken said...

Thank you, Jefferson, for your information. I had not remembered the name of the group. I did know they were with McMaster though.

I think those kids are wonderful!

princess-anna said...

Princess-Anna says they are wonderful young people who do care and make a diffirence. You are right Islam,Judiasm and Christianity has charity as part of their way

annaken said...

Thank you for your private e-mail. I will endeavour to cut and paste your remarks (with your permission) onto this comment page.

"I was commenting on the homeless and their situations. I found myself wondering if they stopped playing the role if victim and drummed up enough self esteem and confidence with unfaltering determination they could deliver themselves from their demise. I did."

All I can say, dear reader, is that I am glad that you were able to do so.

annaken said...

Thank you again, for your private e-mail. I will again cut and paste onto this blog, with your permission.

"I believe that people ground themselves without even knowing it. Self defeat is mostly invisible and undetected."

Dear Reader, very wise words but some people do not have a solid background as a child (could be abused), they could have mental health issues etc. and while you were able to rise above this condition, some people just may not be able to. Not all people are the same. However, I am so glad that you were able to overcome.

Keep up the good work and good luck in your future.