“Community trust does not have a lot of funding, but what we do have is the support of the community,” says the Executive Director of the North Hastings Community Trust Jane Kali.
They are getting ready to start their street outreach for February. They will be looking to get supplies for their “Dream Backpacks.” Public Health is helping out with some funding and supplies, but Kali says help from the community is needed. They are looking for basic necessities such as hygiene products. Kali asks that if residents want to drop off food, to drop off gift cards instead. This way it allows the people they will help with these backpacks to choose what food they get, Kali says.
“We know a lot of people that are hanging out on the streets don’t always know where to go and don’t always feel comfortable coming into agencies,” Kali adds. That’s why she says having community support workers walking through Bancroft to connect with people to see what their needs are is important.
The outreach program also ensures that people in the community that are doing drugs are doing it safely. They will be making sure that people that need safe equipment have it, along with a place to dispose of the needles afterwards. She adds that if people need a place to go before or after injecting, the Community Trust’s doors will be open.
“How we respond to addictions is through community support,” Kali says. That was the message she said came out of the training sessions they held with the community last year. Those sessions were to teach the community about the importance of harm reduction and meeting people without judgement. “It’s through caring for each other and creating a loving community,” she adds.
Anyone interested in helping out can find out more by visiting the North Hastings Community Trust at 23B Bridge Street. You can find out exactly what is needed for their backpacks by going to the Community Trust’s Facebook page.