The Street Angels are out every week feeding hundreds of homeless people, but they themselves did not have a space to call home.
“My personal residence looks like a hoarding zone because I used my basement as our storage unit,” said Street Angels co-director Marnie Monroes.
The outreach team has been using their own homes to cook the meals and store donations. But they say demand for their service is growing rapidly and it was becoming unsustainable.
“It’s hard to imagine a place that has a commercial kitchen and office space and a storage for us,” said Street Angels co-director Merissa Mills. “Like where is that place going to be? How are we going to find it?”
With patience, their prayers were answered.
“He said, ‘hi my name is Paul and I’m a pastor at a local church in riverside and I think we have a solution for you,’” Mills said.
St. Augustine of Canterbury Anglican Church offered up its space for the charity, allowing the Street Angels to take their outreach to the next level.
Charities all across the city are taking more calls.
The Society of St. Vincent De Paul says its volunteers are booked up with home visits where they offer personalized support to people in need.
“I’ll talk about St. Alphonsus which is our downtown core conference, they probably do 250 calls a month,” said Society of St. Vincent De Paul president David Leslie.
Over at the UHC Hub of Opportunities, food bank usage is up 15 per cent from the same period last year, but certain goods are needed more than others.
“Give us a call, see what we need because we want to make sure every family all the nutritional food that they need and that’s where the biggest challenge is,” said CEO June Muir.
Meanwhile, the Street Angels are putting their new facility to good use, starting in May, they will be adding Saturday breakfast to their outreach schedule.
“There is just so much need and we see that need and that’s why we’re planning to do the third meal,” Mills said.