Raising the Roof’s Toque Tuesday – an annual, national campaign for the elimination of homelessness in Canada – hit the streets on February 3, 2015 – a chill winter’s day.
Unity Project and compassionate community supporters were out in force speaking out for the cause, visiting with homeless-serving organizations and distributing toques freely to those in need of a warm and fashionable hat.
London CAReS Street Outreach Workers guided over 25 volunteers, from City of London (including Mayor Matt Brown, City Councillors Jesse Helmer, Maureen Cassidy and Josh Morgan, our Medical Officer of Health Dr. Christopher Mackie of Middlesex London Health Unit, as well as employees from Raising the Roof’s national partners, Paul Davis Systems and Intact Financial. Lorna Bruce of London Police Service and Dr. Bodkin of London InterCommunity Health Centre distributed toques while on their weekly rounds checking in on street-involved individuals.
City Councillors wore the iconic Raising the Roof toque during City business in solidarity with those experiencing homelessness in London and the 235,000 Canadians who endure that crisis annually. Mayor Matt Brown was honoured to participate. “I am encouraged by the positive direction that City of London is taking in homelessness prevention strategies. I thank those who work and volunteer to make life better for those who experience this terrible crisis and those who work and volunteer to end it. They give us all hope we can end homelessness,” he said.
Communities across Canada participate in Toque Tuesday events to raise dollars and awareness about homeless, certainly one of the greatest issues facing Canadian society. Eighty per cent of net toque and sock sales support the work of local community partner agencies, with the remainder funds Raising the Roof’s national initiatives.
London’s event brings an exciting twist to Toque Tuesday. While Intact Financial (London branch) sold nearly 400 of their 2015 inventory (and has contributed to raising nearly $40,000 over 5 years of partnership), Paul Davis Systems (London and Sarnia) opted to purchase 400 toques and donate 200 enabling us to provide freely around London.
“Housing,with support, is the solution to homelessness. It is not an unsolvable problem. The show of support here today shows there is hope.” Says Silvia Langer, Development Manager at Unity Project.