Throughout our Blanket The Country In Warmth campaign, we’d like to feature some of the shelters and organizations that the blankets will be donated to. We’ll be featuring a shelter every Friday during the campaign. It’s wonderful to see where and who your donations are benefitting. If you’re not yet familiar with the campaign, take a look at the Blanket The Country website for more details.
This week we are spotlighting Out Of The Cold (Dixon Hall) – Toronto, ON. We have asked a key representative from the shelter to answer some questions for us:
1. Who visits your shelters? How many per month?
Our shelters see both men and women. We are seeing an increasing number of seniors at our shelters. This trend is increasing as the population ages. We are also seeing a larger number of newcomers to Canada looking for emergency shelter. Dixon Hall as two shelters offering a total of 135 beds per night. We are open 365 days per year and we are at capacity every night. This translates into over 4000 bed nights per month.
2. What do the blankets from Urban Barn mean to your organization?
The blankets are important for several reasons. They offer extra warmth within the shelter, soft blankets bring an intangible measure of comfort to an individual and our shelter clients often use them to keep warm on the street during the day. We also distribute the blankets to individuals making the transition from shelter to a home. Often, the blanket is the first possession they own.
3. What is something you’d like people to know about your organization?
I think it’s important to know that although we provide emergency overnight shelter our focus is moving people into homes of their own. To that end, we have a team of housing support workers dedicated to helping individuals find and maintain their own home. Supports include home visits, employment advising and harm reduction work.
4. How can people get involved and help?
Potential volunteers can contact us through our website, www.dixonhall.org and we’ll ensure they get connected with the right program area. Also, as government funding continues to decrease we increasingly rely on support from the community to offer important programs and services. As a registered non-profit all donations are tax deductible. Individuals can give through our web-site.