London is currently facing a homelessness crisis. Shelters are full. There is backlog. Vulnerable members of our community need help. Many shelters and aid agencies have put out a simple message to the rest of the community while they fight this battle on our behalf: show compassion.
We took that message to heart and decided to create and initiative called Feed the Community! We wanted to find a way to support our most vulnerable communities, but also the front line workers who dedicate their lives to helping. By leaning into our networks and finding partners who would be willing to help, we were able to deliver over 100 meals to 2 incredible organizations in London and St. Thomas.
We partnered with Westminster Mutual, a valued partner of our brokerage, who graciously donated $1000. Westminster is an active community partner in the St. Thomas-Elgin region, and we thrilled to help us execute this initiative.
We then purchased meals from Kelsey’s Original Roadhouse (Westmount Location) who kindly provided them at cost. We worked with the location owner to build a delicious menu of chicken caesar wraps, burgers, garden salads and yummy caramel cheesecakes! Kelsey's locations all across Ontario will partner with companies to deliver delicious and affordable meals to people in need. As an extra, we thanked Kelsey’s with a little extra tip to try and help ease the burden that they faced while their shifts were either cut back or stopped.
Inn Out of the Cold
Inn Out of the Cold in St. Thomas provides supplies such as shelter, hot meals, showers and clothing for up to 300 different individuals and families. On Saturday March 13th, we delivered 40 meals and and volunteered in the kitchen for the evening to help serve dinner to those using the shelter that evening. We were proud to spend time with the owner and the head chef, who shared some of the struggles that their resident's face, and how appreciative they are for community support.
The Unity Project accommodates residents nightly in a home-like shelter environment where participants handle all the cooking, cleaning, and day-to-day maintenance – taking care of themselves, each other, and community. Through the pandemic, they shifted the emergency shelter operations to a hotel, where they increased the typical occupancy, managing private rooms that allow for adequate social distancing, for seniors and those with health conditions which make them most vulnerable to the worst effects of the virus. On March 20th, 2021 we delivered 75 meals to their hotel operation. Their staff and participants were very pleased and excited, and appreciated the support in this very challenging time.
The staff of these incredible organizations work so hard for our community in both London and St. Thomas to provide emergency shelter, supportive housing and stability supports where people are struggling to escape and avoid homelessness. They strive to empower their participants and we cannot thank them enough for the important work they do.
While this initiative made one meal a little easier, we recognize that there is a lot more work to do to support these communities. We are committed to doing what we can to always find creative and compassionate ways to help.
Submit Idea If you have another idea on how we can help our communities, submit it here!