With the arrival of snow in Metro Vancouver and more cold weather expected this week, local non-profit organizations and the people that utilize their important services are likely feeling the chill.
If you've dug all your winter wearables out of the attic and have come across some gently-worn items that you no longer use, here is a list of groups that would be happy to pass along your coats, warm clothing, and blankets to those in need.
Operating in eight different communities in the Lower Mainland (Vancouver, North Vancouver, New Westminster, Burnaby, Surrey, Maple Ridge, Langley, and Abbotsford), the Lookout Society has been serving the homeless since 1971.
The longstanding organization provides housing to 1,200 people throughout the winter months, while also offering assistance through resource centres, food banks, dental and medical clinics, youth programs, outreach teams, and employment programs, among other things. During peak periods, the organization serves nearly 2,500 people each day.
In addition to warm coats and jackets, the non-profit is seeking fleece blankets, gloves, and new socks and underwear.
Donations can be dropped off at the following locations between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., seven days a week:
The LivingRoom Drop In, 528 Powell Street
Cliff Block Residences, 606 Clarkson Street, New Westminster
North Shore Housing Centre, 705 West 2nd Street, North Vancouver
Offering both short-term and longer-term care through its Crisis, Drop-In, and Right of Passage programs, Covenant House has been providing assistance to homeless youth between 16 and 24 in the Vancouver area since 1997, when a study revealed that there were more than 10,000 runaways in British Columbia. (According to Covenant House, that number is now closer to 8,500).
Facilitated with the help of more than 120 volunteers, the non-profit organization provides homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth with food, shelter, clothing, and counseling.
Last year, more than 1,300 young people accessed its services. The organization notes that it has seen an alarming increase in the number of homeless youth over the past several years—so much so that they are often turning away more youth than they are able to house.
Covenant House accepts a wide variety of donated items, including clean sweaters, hoodies, pants, boots, waterproof jackets, and sleeping bags.
Donations can be made at 575 Drake Street on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., or on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Both the Gathering Place Community Centre and the Evelyn Saller Centre provide a host of services to vulnerable populations living in Downtown Vancouver, including those affected by low income, disabilities, and homelessness.
These facilities provide patrons with access to laundry, showers, cafeteria meals, community events, and activities, at a minimal cost.
Both facilities are in need of cold weather clothing items including gloves, toques, coats, jeans, sweatpants and sweatshirts, and new socks and underwear.
Donations can be dropped off at the following locations:
Vancouver City Hall, 453 West 12th Avenue (Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.)
Evelyne Saller Centre, 320 Alexander Street (Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.)
Gathering Place, 609 Helmcken Street (Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.)
The longstanding faith-based organization known for its holiday meals provides homeless and poverty-stricken adults with shelter, outreach, recovery programs, education, job preparation, affordable housing, and more.
Serving in Vancouver since 1940, UGM has since expanded to offer services in six more locations throughout the Lower Mainland. The organization serves more than 320,000 meals annually, 3,500 of which are served at UGM’s annual Christmas dinner.
The non-profit is currently seeking new or gently used cold weather clothing items, including warm gloves, waterproof jackets, boots, shoes, long johns, and socks.
UGM asks that all donations are dropped off at its main reception, located 601 East Hastings, between 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m, seven days a week.
Dedicated to ending violence against women, the Atira Women’s Resource Society serves self-identifying women facing gendered violence and misogyny, including trans, two-spirit, and intersex women, as well as those who identify with a femme of centre non-binary gender.
Operating in Vancouver since 1983, Atira provides women with long-term and transitional housing and shelter programs, homelessness prevention programs, outreach, legal advocacy, counseling services, 16-step programs, familial support, and self-employment initiatives at facilities in the Downtown Eastside, Burnaby, Surrey, and White Rock.
Atira is currently seeking new and gently used women’s and children’s clothing, including warm jackets, pants, toques, gloves, and more.
To donate items, the organization asks that you send an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange a drop-off time.