The issues and challenges of homelessness are numerous. The residents of the Maple Leaf Shelter have sought shelter here since 1996. Often the issues of compartmentalization create daily tension and incompatibility.
Shelters may not have showers (we do), so residents must plan that part of their day. You? Jump out of bed and into the shower, and off you go. Storage? If you have an item in storage and need it, the day is then spent getting to that off-site location. How about a gallon of milk? Trying moving around with important food stuffs (we have a dedicated kitchen for residents). Need to go to the doctor? Hopefully the appointment does not conflict with work or any other chore that involves not having a safe place, all in one. Centralized 24 hour living is a dynamic that most who are sheltered, deem a luxury. NOW, your shelter opens early and a healthy meal awaits. Not only that but the residents enter to see elementary school age children serenading your arrival with song…..while preparing your meal. A delight, a joy, a relief and a semblance of normal.
We’re all young once and you may recall a service project. When the Camp Fire Girls visited, the daily hassles take a back seat. Once the songs had passed, the girls had a plan. Each sat at a table of a resident or two and engaged in a ‘ice breaker’ involving marshmallows. And then the meal, prepared with the help of Camp Fire moms; very appropriate and welcome. Supporting, educating and engaged. Good stuff, thank you Camp Fire girls and moms.