"The most encouraging thing is knowing that people care.
I find it really encouraging that total strangers could care so much
about someone they don't even know." - response of a homeless woman to the Christmas Wish List
Out of 350 Stories and Wishes,
Caring People Have Registered One or More Gifts
For Each Homeless Person
Thank you Calgary!
And thanks to people in other Provinces and countries who gave and to the TV, radio, and newspapers who got the word out.
If You Received a Caring Gift or Letter and
Would Like to Send a Thank You Message
to be Posted on this Web Site,
go to thePage Titled Thank You's
The Homeless Condition
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of homeless across Europe and North America and especially in Calgary over the last three years where many individuals and families have become homeless because of unemployment or the shortage of affordable housing. Others are the working poor who rely on temporary shelters and agencies providing emergency housing.
Homeless people are men and women who have lost their home and family, and each person has a real life story with real reasons for their homelessness. They are brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, aunts and uncles. No one deserves to suffer as the homeless do - often beaten, robbed, diseased, and dying on the street.
If they were your family members, regardless of their circumstances or choices, you would want them to know you care. We believe everyone is our family member.
Sometimes they are recently homeless and sometimes they have lived on and off the street and in shelters for many years. On the street they often have the shoes stolen off their feet and all their personal possessions taken including photos of loved ones and personal identification.
Many of the homeless suffer from mental illness. This can lead to drug addiction as they try to help themselves feel better and cope with their homeless condition. Although they sometimes look able-bodied, mental illness is not always outwardly apparent, but mental illness prevents people from holding down a job as much as a physical handicap prevents a wheelchair-bound person from walking.
What Do Homeless People Need?
One of the most pervasive problems with the homeless especially in winter is hypothermia. They need winter coats and footwear, thermal underwear, warm dry socks, gloves, toques, and scarves.
Those who are capable of working, especially in the building trades are not able to work because they have no tools, tool belt or steel-toe work boots. These can be donated new or used as long as they are in sturdy and reusable condition.
Many homeless people are talented artists, musicians, and writers. By gifting art supplies like canvasses, acrylic paints, brushes, etc. they can be afforded the tools to create works of art.
Within the first two weeks of being on the street, their identification is stolen, making it difficult or impossible to register for many services like welfare.
Other information about homelessness in Calgary can be found at and
Centre of Hope
The Mustard Seed
Calgary Urban Project Society
Inn From The Cold
Calgary Homeless Foundation
Administration for the www.HomelessPartners.com web site is provided byand Counsellor Publishing, Vancouver, BC.