Caring Place needs some care

The Salvation Army Caring Place is having a busy summer, and it’s asking for the public’s help in providing ...

Desiree Towne hands out supplies at Salvation Army

The Salvation Army Caring Place is having a busy summer, and it’s asking for the public’s help in providing for its personal hygiene program.

The program needs more supplies, which “aid the community’s most vulnerable with their basic needs,” said a release from the Sally Ann this week. Director Darrell Pilgrim explained that with the nearby homeless camp on Cliff Avenue, there have been more people coming for meals, and greater demand for all of the Caring Place’s services. He said it is putting a strain on resources.

One of the services provided, in addition to the 25-bed emergency shelter, is a daily drop-in where clients can come and shower, do laundry and get out of the elements. The Salvation Army calls this service their personal hygiene program, and every day more than 60 individuals access these relative comforts.

“Personal hygiene helps everyone’s feeling of self-worth and care,” said Pilgrim. “We are happy to offer this service to the community as it encourages healthy choices.”

In addition, for the first time in a long time, donations to this crucial program are down, he said. The hygiene program also gives out shampoo, conditioner, soap and towels.

In the past, concerned community members have donated toiletry items, sometimes collected in hotels, or cleaned out their linen closets of old towels and face cloths and donated them.

The Salvation Army has recently had to use donated cash to purchase toiletry items, for the first time in years.

These are funds that would be otherwise used towards the community meal program or the babies and toddlers program. During a year, the Caring Place provides 100,000 meals for the hungry, 10,000 shelter nights and even 30,000 bag lunches for school-aged children.

“The majority of people who use the program are not homeless, they’re dealing with poverty,” said Pilgrim, noting that most of those clients come in to use free laundry facilities, and clean up while they wait for their clothes.

Although there has been some suggestion that The Caring Place’s services are attracting more homeless people to the downtown, Pilgrim does not believe there has been any decrease in support of the charity.

“I believe we’re still enjoying the same level of support,” said Pilgrim.

“We think this city is great, and we know the community is going to step up and help us in this way.”

Donations for the hygiene program can be made in person to The Salvation Army, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 22188 Lougheed Hwy.

For more information, or other ways to donate, contact Norrie at 604-463-8296 or amelia.norrie@caringplace.ca.

 

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