With the temperature plunging to – 10 C, on a recent Saturday afternoon Muslim youth distributed care packages to people experiencing homelessness outside The Calgary Drop-In Centre.
“You guys are great,” said Roger Cowan, as he picked up a care package. “You guys are giving all these beautiful things to the people. I’m just gonna love it. Thank you very much for everything”.
Abdullah Rahman, a community volunteer, organized and ran this campaign for a few years before partnering with Al.Muslimah this year.
“I feel like it’s especially important in this weather because where we live here in Alberta, it’s outrageously cold, like it’s just insane,” said Abdullah
Al.Muslimah is a non-profit organization that empowers Muslim women in Calgary. They usually host events centred around showcasing Muslim creatives and initiatives.
“And when I see that I have a car with the heater on or I have a roof over my head and there’s someone out there that’s just on a bench with a T-shirt. It doesn’t sit right,” said Abdullah.
On Sept. 28, 2022, volunteers from various organizations combed the city to count the people experiencing homelessness and will reveal the numbers in the next few months.
The number of job losses and employment instability has increased as a result of the pandemic.
People experiencing homelessness who lack shelter or warm clothing are vulnerable to frostbite, which can lead to amputations or serious infections.
According to the Calgary Homeless Foundation, 1,935 people were experiencing homelessness in 2021.
In the care packages, there are two pairs of socks, a hat, gloves, hand warmers, hand sanitizer, wipes, a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, floss, comb, lip balm, body lotion, soap, and shampoo.
A $20 gift card to Tim Hortons, Subway, and McDonald’s is also included, along with drinks, sandwiches, and snacks.
In addition, the packages include jackets, scarves, blankets, a tiny first aid package, and feminine hygiene products.