The need to buy a new hot water tank that’s essential in helping people get off the streets has been quickly met by Mission residents.
Stone Soup, a non-profit homeless advocacy group, put out a call for donations to help purchase a tank for the Mission Friendship Centre (MFC), one of the only facilities in the district that offers hot showers and meals to the homeless. In only a week, more than $600 has been raised, and two companies have stepped up to offer new tanks.
Paul Horn helps run Stone Soup, and says the idea came out of a dinner held at MFC when he inquired about laundry facilities at the centre.
“They were really stuck because they didn’t have the hot water capacity because they also do hot meals there,” Horn said. “The response has been great – it’s like a hot water tank flash mob.”
Services like the one MFC provides are sparse in Mission. MY House is only available for youth up to 24 years old and the Mission Leisure Centre runs a low-cost program. There’s also Haven in the Hollow, a first-stage shelter, but Horn says that it’s more of a place where people have to be ready to stay – something many aren’t ready for.
Horn says the Riverside plumbing program has also stepped up to help with the installation of the hot water tank.
If it works out that a hot water tank is donated, Stone Soup will then use the funds raised to continue to provide services.
Homelessness in the district has slightly improved, but with the rough stretch of weather, Horn says many people who were sprawled across Mission are coming back into town where services such as the MFC are more accessible.
“We all look outside and the people who have been able to live comfortably in the wilderness or living rough pretty much have to come in from the cold,” he said.
To donate, email firstname.lastname@example.org or drop off your donation to Mission Community Services at 33179 2nd Ave.