Salvation Army Reaches Out At 15th Homeless Connect Event

The Salvation Army reaches out at Edmonton's 15ht Homeless Connect Event
by Alberta

Edmonton’s homeless and at-risk residents came out Sunday October 25, for the 15th Homeless Connect at the Shaw Conference Centre. With an increasing number of attendees every year, this bi-annual event has become the epicenter for connecting social services with Edmonton’s most vulnerable residents. Over 2,100 guests came through the doors exceeding the estimated 1,700 attendees.

The Salvation Army Community and Family Services (CFS), Addictions and Residential Centre (ARC), and Crossroads Community Church joined more than 60 different services and 300 volunteers to serve Edmonton’s most vulnerable together in one location.

“This is a great event for the community because there are no hoops, no applications, just access to services that they choose without barriers,” says Captain Mark Stanley, Executive Director of the ARC. “It’s not just about services that deal with homelessness and poverty but also about services that make people feel good about themselves.”

Services available included haircuts, professional photos, legal advice, tax services, dental and eye care, immunization, massages, pre-natal services, counselling, manicures, and laundry services.  

The Emergency Disaster Services vehicle was also on hand, serving hot chocolate as hundreds of people were lined up hours before the doors opened to the public.

The Salvation Army contributed by handing out socks, underwear, protein bars along with information for housing, addiction programs, women’s outreach ministries, and social justice programs.

“I am overwhelmed by the amount of support in one place, in one day,” says Major Carolyn Hale, Executive Director of CFS. “This is a community that comes together to treat vulnerable people like a king or queen for a day.”

 “This is a good for the City of Edmonton, a happy day for the community and for the people who come," says Captain Stanley. “It’s a positive experience for everyone who comes out.”