An example of a mat made from plastic bags, or plarn. (Contributed)

Crocheting plastic mats for the homeless in Maple Ridge

The goal of the group is to have 80 mats

A group from Maple Ridge is crocheting mats for homeless people in Maple Ridge.

The project started in October with a Facebook post to collect warm winter accessories, by Sonia Pereira.

In response, Pereira’s friend posted a link to the Kamloops Homeless Mat Project and said it would be nice to do the same.

Pereira had seen the video This Tent Is My Home, about the Anita Place Camp on 223rd Street, and wanted to do something to help.

So Pereira and co-organizer Angela Wagner posted a link on how to make mats out of plastic bags and a small group of people met up on Nov. 10 to start the project.

“The first week there were three or four of us there. And then last Saturday there were 11, and this week there is supposed to be 20.”

Pereira, who does not know how to crochet, helps to make the plarn by cutting the plastic bags into strips.

So far there are between 25 and 30 being made and more being started this weekend.

The goal is 80.

Each mat takes two days to make and measure around 91 by 213 centimetres.They will be handed out at one of the Christmas dinners for the homeless in Maple Ridge. Details are being confirmed later this week.

One of the reasons why this project is so important to Pereira is that she feels the issue is really polarizing in Maple Ridge.

“I think that the loudest voices are often perceived to be what the community feels and what the community is and I don’t think that’s true,” said Pereira.

“I think that Maple Ridge is a community of kindness and of very good people and we take care of our own.”

• To donate warm weather items or to attend the crocheting event, contact Pereira on the Facebook page at facebook.com/mapleridgehomelessmatproject.

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