We were lucky to have Sarah from the Calgary Drop-In Centre come to share what amazing work they do to help people in the community.
The Drop-In Centre is a Community Servicing Agency that helps individuals from all walks of life. They provide housing, meals and laundry facilities amongst other services. It is important to note that the people The DI serves are not all homeless people or people without jobs. Sometimes people just need some support to get themselves back on track while they are working or looking for affordable housing.
The building the DI is in now opened in 2001 and was designed to house 500 people who need emergency shelter. However, they have actually outgrown their facility and they now sleep more people than they have room for; about 800-1000 people!
Sarah explained what kinds of things the Drop In Centre helps people with:
- help people to find work
- provide health care services
- help with taxes
- serve meals
- laundry and shower facilities
- education courses
Most of the people who use the Drop-In Centre are males and the average age is 51 years old, which surprised us. We wondered why they don’t help as many females. And what about kids? Sarah explained that there are other services that help other people in the city like Inn From The Cold, The Mustard Seed and The Women’s Centre of Calgary.
We learned that when we are a little older we can help out the Drop In Centre by volunteering to serve meals. We can also donate at the Donation Centre. “The Donation Centre is a hub of volunteers that help sort clothing, hygiene items, household items and furniture, recyclables, medical supplies, computer hardware and many other goods donated by the public.” ~ Calgary Drop-In Centre
Sarah asked us what we carried in our back packs. We told her we had our lunch kits, pencil cases, books and agendas. She then showed us what is in the typical back pack of a homeless person. In her back pack she had a granola bar, a sweater, shower items, shoes, socks, a t-shirt, medication and a book; basically their entire life is kept in a back pack. And that’s all you can have when you go to the third floor of the Drop-In Centre. We couldn’t imagine having everything in a back pack!
One thing we learned is that not everyone’s day is the same; we can’t predict what might happen or has happened to someone else. We don’t know everyone’s story and we have to be empathetic and others’ points of view and situations.
Sarah shared a video about Wayne who used the Drop-In Centre after his wife passed away. You can watch the video below.
This video helped many of us realize that each person’s story is different.
Thank you to Sarah for helping us see that we all need to try to do what we can to help others in our community and that sometimes people just need a little help to get back on their feet. People are all the same and different at the same time. If we don’t look after each other, who will?
You can find out more about the Calgary Drop-In Centre using the links below: