All year, we focus on helping you find a new home in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, so we want to take a moment to fill you in on how you can support the homeless this holiday season - especially since we just had our first extreme cold weather alert.
Note: The holiday season isn’t the only time the city’s homeless and not-for-profit agencies require assistance, volunteers and donations. If we all did our part all year round, we could ease the issue of homelessness across Toronto, and at the very least make those in need slightly more comfortable.
The City of Toronto surveyed NPO agency partners running shelters, 24-hour respite sites, drop-ins, and other services to see which items were needed this holiday season. There are more than 50 agencies outlining their client needs on the City’s Holiday Wish List page.
A few of the most requested items include winter coats and other clothing, gift cards for coffee shops and groceries, toiletries, baby products, and non-perishable food. Other items required include kids’ toys, cutlery, TTC tokens, laundry detergent, small furniture (like chairs), bedding, and books.
"This year, more than ever, our community partners need donations and volunteer support," says Mayor John Tory. "Small, everyday items can make a big difference to a person or family in need."
The Holiday Wish List is organized by neighbourhood and details different agencies, the types of clients they have (ex: homeless youth or women and children fleeing violence), the items most in need, drop-off times, and different events and volunteer information.
We highly encourage you to review the list, select an organization in your neighbourhood (or outside your neighbourhood) and get involved in anyway you can. And remember, your time and donations are welcome all year, so don’t feel like you have to limit your support to the holiday season.