There are organizations looking to help the Niagara Falls homeless community. The government too has started initiatives, especially after the global pandemic. The homeless population was severely affected by untimely shutting down of businesses and general amenities they were able to access because of it.

Homelessness too is a global pandemic most acutely felt by those who experience it. Some population groups are disproportionately affected by it than others like people with physical and mental disabilities, addictions, or indigenous people.
Minorities, too, become especially disadvantaged due to homelessness as their safety is compromised. Particular to Canada, there are around 235,00 Canadians who are homeless in any given year.
In this blog, we will be looking at charities helping the homeless community in their unique ways. The need for organizations to expedite their efforts is immense, and these NGOs seem to understand that and tackle the issue head-on.

Boys & Girls Club of Niagara

The Boys and Girls of Niagara work to prevent youth homelessness through specific initiatives in support of vulnerable young people and their families. Through their short term and transitional housing services, they provide temporary or urgent support for youth who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness.

With the goal of helping youth gain the skills to return to their families or to live independently in the community, their programs offer a comprehensive support system to help youth permanently end their experience of unstable housing or homelessness. Nightlight Youth Services is located at 5519 Ontario Ave. in Niagara Falls, offering residential programs for youth and young adults ages 16-30 which provide a safe, supervised, and supportive environment.

The Shoebox Project

The Shoebox Project for women was started in 2011 by four sisters-in-law who wanted to empower homeless women and help with gifts during the holiday season. They set themselves apart by voicing that women deserve gifts as much as children do during the holiday season.

The gifts are usually high-quality products worth $50 packaged inside a shoebox. They are distributed to the marginalized women in shelters. Their mission is to improve a woman’s self-worth, reduce isolation as they often feel alone, forgotten, and uncared for especially living under such circumstances.

Around 180,000 shoeboxes have been collected and distributed through this project all across North America, with several local run chapters in operation all over Canada.

 

Emergency Homeless Shelters

bedThe YW provides three types of emergency homeless shelters:

  1. Shelters for single women or women with children
  2.  Shelters for families, both two-parent families and single, male-led families
  3. Shelter for single men or men with children

Emergency Homeless Shelters for Women

YWCA Niagara Region offers emergency housing for women and their children in a safe and home-like environment.  They provide a private bedroom, shared common space and three healthy meals that offer nourishment and warmth.
Any woman 16 years of age or older requiring shelter and support is welcome. Women’s Advocates are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist guests in setting goals and accessing community resources in their search for stable housing as they continue on their path to independence.

Emergency Homeless Family Shelter

The YWCA Niagara Region operates emergency homeless shelter units for two-parent families and single-parent families that are male lead.

Families have their own kitchen and bathrooms but are asked to bring their own bedding and towels. While staying at the Family Shelter you are under the Hostel agreement and expected to search for permanent housing. The average stay is one month.

Advocates visit each family once a day and assist in finding permanent housing, accessing community resources.  Advocates also liaise with other agencies on behalf of the family and lend a caring ear in times of need.

We ask that families bring identification for each shelter guest including children.

Emergency Homeless Shelter for Men

The Men’s Modified Shelter provides emergency housing services to 14 chronically homeless men. This program is located in Niagara Falls and the Men’s Shelter Worker supports these individuals in finding housing

 

Cultivating Hope Foundation

The Cultivating Hope foundation has members that personally experienced food insecurity. Their mission is to protect homeless people and give back to the community that once helped them during hard times.

They specifically function in the Niagara Region and have taken steps to help the homeless people in that area. Their goal is to add to the steps taken to help the homeless community by other charities.

Their plan is to offer a permanent and sustainable solution to the issue of homelessness. They have looked into areas for businesses that the homeless can participate in, generating their own income and becoming self-sufficient. As well as providing employment training.

 

The Takeaway

Charity is not dead. While the world faces a crisis and leaves people homeless, the philanthropists and community members have come together to protect homeless people through whatever means they have. Thus, there are multiple charities helping the homeless community as they understand the gravity of the issue.

 

At Cultivating Hope, we give back to our Niagara community, by providing charity for the homeless, focusing on food security and training. If you’d like to play your part in helping the homeless, you can donate here.

 

How can you help the Niagara Falls Homeless Community?

Helping out homeless communities requires empathy and humbleness in your conduct with them. Many people who enter homeless shelters are aided by community organizations that work towards poverty alleviation. Making this informed decision means someone helped them reach out to such organizations.

You can be that person during a time of need. This would mean keeping yourself up to date about charity programs within the city or fundraising events that you can attend to increase your awareness for such programs.

In order to help the Niagara Falls homeless community in such trying times, you can share what has been going on to create awareness, volunteer at shelters that are affected, donate or find charities for others who can donate instead.

 

Create Awareness

If you’ve been trying to keep track of the homeless situation in Niagara Falls, you are aware that amidst the COVID19 crises a number of shelters have closed their doors to people. This has left many of them to survive on the streets, park benches and pavements.

The government has started funding for the Niagara Falls homeless community by appointing local municipalities to help set up camps, portable bathrooms and showering hours that are unavailable to them otherwise.

Try to bring this awareness into your social circles; this creates an atmosphere of consciousness and breeds kindness. It will not only help your peers understand the situation with homeless communities better but also how they have been affected.

Give What You Can

There are a number of charity organizations working towards helping the homeless communities of Niagara Falls. According to what you’re able to afford or willing to give, research these organizations and try to become donors to help with their programs.

When you are looking for organizations, it is important to see which ones are transparent about the donations they receive. One such organization is cultivating hope, that promises to work tirelessly for the homeless community in the Niagara Falls region.

They have been propelled by the need to give back to a community that has been helpful to them in trying times.

 

Call To Action

Sometimes there is a lot you want to do but there are financial constraints that stop you from being able to support vulnerable communities within your city. Many social development organizations not only ask for donations but emphasize on how valuable your time is to them.

Research and find organizations that are looking for volunteers for their poverty alleviation programs, teach special skills or work towards vocational or educational goals with these organizations. Volunteer your time at homeless shelters every so often and invite your friends to do the same.

This too is a gift you have given towards improving the homeless situation within the city.

Be Ready to Help Out

Sometimes people just need help getting through the day. See how you can give practical or immediate help to someone you spot. Try to carry gift cards from fast-food chains, change or ready to eat food that can provide an instant boost of energy.

If you’re alright with having a long conversation that can be beneficial to homeless people, try and equip yourself with the knowledge that will be empowering for them. Find out shelters, poverty alleviation programs, mental health facilities or social organizations that help out homeless people.

This information can go a long way and can change their standard of living. Before you try to help someone, first ask if they need it because it can seem extremely rude to do so without being asked. Always have a humble attitude towards giving, and do so, without the expectation that they will be grateful.

Sometimes people might not be thankful for what you have done for them; try not to be discouraged; they might be going through a rough time and always be fully aware of the privilege you have been granted.

There are organizations looking to help the Niagara Falls homeless community. The government too has started initiatives, especially after the global pandemic. The homeless population was severely affected by untimely shutting down of businesses and general amenities they were able to access because of it.

If you’re alright with having a long conversation that can be beneficial to homeless people, try and equip yourself with the knowledge that will be empowering for them. Find out shelters, poverty alleviation programs, mental health facilities or social organizations that help out homeless people.

 

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