While Thorold is still considered to be a “small town” in spirit, in many ways it’s changed, and the city has seen an increase in homeless people in recent years.
Maxine Hutchings, manager of the Thorold branch of Community Care, appeared at this week’s OneThorold meeting to present facts about local poverty, and its root causes.
Though there is no homeless shelter in Thorold, “Community Care’s Housing Help team meets with people who are homeless or in need of housing at our location,” at 19 Albert Street West, she told ThoroldNews.
“Should anyone come across a homeless person, they may refer them to our agency.”
Hutchings can be reached by calling 905-227-9240, or by emailing [email protected]
The team also provides assistance for people with respect to paying utilities, she stated.
Income support is the core issue, and 80 per cent of their clients receive Ontario Works or ODSP.
Mental health and/or addiction issues are often the underlying factors behind poverty.
Frequently, Thorold clients need transportation to St. Catharines, said Hutchings.
“With a limited income, not everyone who accesses our services is able to afford transportation to get to appointments or seek job opportunities in other cities within the region. Many people rely on friends and family to get about, but in many cases this is not an option. Being able to connect socially is the key to having a vibrant community, and having transportation is meaningful for daily living.”
As always, food is also needed at both the Thorold and St. Catharines branches of Community Care.
In particular, fresh food, along with canned fish and meats, are in demand.
Hilda Vanderkilppe, a founding member of OneThorold, is organizing a food drive with the Village Church on June 9.
OneThorold is a volunteer group made up of local church members, business leaders, and other individuals interested in enhancing Thorold by eradicating poverty and undertaking related social initiatives.
This Saturday, May 11, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, Thorold resident Darryl Murphy is hosting a community garage sale and food drive for Community Care at Richmond Street School, and asks that everyone who attends bring food for Community Care.