On October 20th our Chief Operations Officer, Aaron DeBoer, will be conducting a public awareness event designed to bring attention to the fact that homelessness is something that can be eradicated from our society. With the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness in full swing, it has already been shown that an individual can successfully make the transition from homelessness into a safe living environment. However, housing first is just the beginning and does not alone ensure an individual fully integrates back into society. Supports, designed to remove other barriers, beyond housing, are also required. We believe it is now time to begin focusing on these supplementary supports. Providing an individual with Homeless Legal Advocacy and Supported Employment services in conjunction with the mainstream services such as housing, addiction and mental health supports is the only way to ensure all barriers to independent living are removed. Our support systems need to recognize the importance of these other supports and make these community integration services a priority.
To demonstrate the burden of homelessness, and the long road ahead, Aaron will be pulling a tandem set of shopping carts for 10 hours straight (8am – 6pm) along the Bow River bicycle path (south) from Crowchild Trail to the East Village in Calgary. He is doing this in order to raise awareness around the fact that, as a nation, if we chose to we could end homelessness. We encourage everyone to take a 1/2 an hour out of your day to come on down to the pathway and provide your support. Have your picture taken while helping to pull the carts, watch Aaron struggle, make a donation, AND most importantly fill up the shopping carts with non perishable food items that will then be donated to the Calgary Food Bank. (Remember… the more food items placed in the carts the harder he has to work!)
We are also encouraging anyone interested in supporting Calgary Housing & Employment Services in this endeavor to contact us by direct Facebook message or to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to register for an official pledge drive sheet. All proceeds collected, based on the number of hours Aaron is able to pull the carts, will go directly towards the CHES – Supported Employment Program (SEP). For more information on SEP, or any of our other programs, please visit us at www.calgaryhes.ca or check out the Facebook Event Page!
Together we can ensure everyone has the supports needed to live in a home!