With winter coming quicker than most would like, many Londoners will be spending a lot less time outside soaking in that frigid Canadian air. That unfortunately is not always an option if you have fallen on hard times and are without a home.
London is known for having plenty of resources to help the local homeless population, but are we doing enough as a community to help? Gordon Russell, the Director of the Men’s Mission here in London doesn’t think so. He believes that much of the problem stems from the communities lack of ability to recognize homelessness as problem year round.
He says it is frustrating to see people only care about the homeless when it starts to get cold, “they are struggling in June and July too” he says.
September saw the Men’s Mission in London hit 106% occupancy at their emergency shelter, something Russell says you can’t blame on the weather. He does acknowledge that when the winter hits it certainly does make it more difficult for people who are living “rough” or in other words, chronically sleeping on the streets, to be
able to move around to the places they need to get to.
Used winter clothing will be on high demand in the next couple of months at the shelters. Many are encouraged to donate coats, hats, mitts or scarves to any London homeless shelter location.