Southern Alberta homeless organization in desperate need of winter jackets

23/11/2018 Posted by admin

Shawna Pinay lived in and out of homelessness for 13 years and knows all too well about having to survive the colder temperatures.

“For myself, when I was down and out, I had nothing and I struggled because you’re out there it’s cold you’ve got nowhere to go,” Pinay said.

“You have nothing warm to wear and you’re out there freezing basically.”

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    The first snowfall came earlier than expected for the Streets Alive Mission, who are struggling to supply winter clothing to the city’s less fortunate.

    “Last year it was almost the beginning of December before we had our first snowfall… here it is mid-October and we’ve got it,” Streets Alive Mission’s co-founder Ken Kissick said.

    READ MORE: Lethbridge girl says Streets Alive saved her after 2 suicide attempts

    Last year alone, the mission handed out nearly 3,000 full sets of clothing to those in need. That included shirts, pants, socks, underwear, and of course a winter jacket, an essential item to brave the southern Alberta winter.

    “When the weather gets cold you know even if you’re not spending the night outside, which a number of these people do, but just to go around town, you’re going to chill yourself – you’re going to experience a level of hypothermia,” Kissick said.

    READ MORE: Lethbridge’s Coldest Night of the Year walk sees over 100 participants

    Pinay is now an employee at Streets Alive Mission and said being able to access warm clothing can change someone’s life.

    “[The mission] is where we can basically provide that stuff for them, you know, to keep them warm and give them the stuff they need,” Pinay said.

    “I know it helped me and it kept me warm, and kept me safe.”

    READ MORE: Family donates 122 winter boots to Streets Alive Mission

    Streets Alive Mission is asking people to help by donating gently used items for those in need.

    “The weather is going to warm up here and we’ll put our coat away but when it gets cold we’ll go to our closet grab the coat and put it on,” Kissick said.

    “But if you don’t have a closet, where do you go to grab your coat?”

    “We’re just asking people if you’ve got stuff at home you don’t need – can you move it from your closet to ours?” Kissick said.