Hearts for Homes – Helps the Homeless

by The Salvation Army in Canada
Categories: ONG News, Uncategorized

A group of university students recently held a homeless awareness event to raise money for The Salvation Army. “Hearts For Homes,” an event organized by McMaster student Emily Landon, didn’t take place on the university campus. Instead, it was a one-night event complete with a live band and barbeque outside the Salvation Army Meadowlands Church in Ancaster, raising $800 dollars for The Salvation Army’s homeless initiatives.

The event was originally scheduled last month, but was cancelled due to an extreme cold weather alert issued by the City of Hamilton.  When extremely low temperatures are expected, police and volunteers focus their efforts on getting the homeless off the streets and into the warmth and safety of shelters. Although there have been few drastically cold days this winter, the “Hearts for Homes” event happened to fall on one of them and was postponed to avoid putting students at risk. 

This month the students proved their determination to spend a night “on the streets” on a cold February evening. We could all take a lesson on generosity from these ten young people who volunteered to step into someone else’s shoes. They received donations from friends, family, and local businesses. Accompanied by a local band, The Common Descent, and a barbeque for the participants and onlookers, this event effectively raised awareness to members of the community. The money donated goes to the Salvation Army, which in operates a men’s shelter and a soup van, along with a number of other services to help homeless and low-income individuals in Hamilton.

Hearts for Homes is not a club or an organization at McMaster, but rather a one-time student initiative to do some charitable work this winter. “I think I even take for granted what I have, and I wanted other people to be thankful,” says Emily Landon, event organizer. The reality is that many of take for granted what we have, and don’t understand the reality of homelessness in our city. A recent study by Salvation Army surveyed Canadians attitudes on homelessness. Shockingly, 40% of Canadians believe that people who live in poverty “still have it pretty good,” and 41% believe the poor would take advantage of any assistance given to them and “do nothing.” Sometimes it’s necessary for us to step out of our element to gain a little perspective. The participants of Hearts for Homes willingly put themselves in the shoes of the homeless to better understand what a struggle life would be on the streets.

Homelessness is a serious issue in Hamilton, but with more student-run initiatives like “Hearts for Homes”, and continued support from charitable organizations like Salvation Army, we can help those members of our community who are less fortunate than we are.

Homeless facts were found here: https://salvationarmy.ca/2011/03/01/salvation-army-launches-the-dignity-project-to-educate-activate-public-support/