'Beat the Heat in the Streets' program is keeping the homeless hydrated
WINDSOR, ONT. -- With these hot, humid dog days of summer upon us, a local group is looking out for those at risk.
“This is totally awesome. This is exactly what we need right now,” says Andrew Ducharme.
Ducharme knows what’s it’s like to be homeless and out of work.
“It’s hard to get some things right now,” says Ducharme.
“A lot of people say, ‘do you have water?’ It’s high need,” says Ashley Shepley.
Windsor Community Connections group have started ‘Beat the Heat in the Streets’ program to keep the homeless community hydrated.
“When I pull up, they almost jump out of their seat and rush to the car,” says Shepley, founder of Windsor Community Connections.
“Everybody looks forward to them coming around. They usually line up,” says Malissa Fram.
The group also distributes food, clothes, shoes and hygiene packs daily.
“We have toothpaste and toothbrushes and soap, full sizes,” says Shepley.
“Grateful. Very grateful. If it wasn’t for people like this a lot of us would be in a lot worse situation than we are right now,” says Fram.
“It felt so good to watch them go from sad to embarrassed to happy and thankful,” says WCC volunteer, Morgan Lapointe.
In order to continue helping the homeless, the group relies on donations from the community.
“We find that we go through shoes quite a bit,” says Shepley.
“It’s mentally challenging and physically challenging obviously. Shoes I never stop walking so I can use these. Every few months I could use a pair,” says Chico Davis who has been living on the street off and on for three years.
A shoe drive is planned this Saturday, July 10 at Average Joe’s on Lauzon Road. You can drop off your new or gently used footwear between 2-6 p.m.
“I really want Windsor to step up and take care of each other. We all have a responsibility, it’s our city. It doesn’t matter what class you are. This is your city. You’re living here. This is your problem,” says Shepley.
“You got to stay clean, healthy and positive. They help greatly,” says Davis.