What’s Winter to You?

By Barbara Bisgrove, reprinted with permission from OneKing.ca

“Snow on snow” and “frosty winds may moan” as we sing? It was a cold and blustery day at the drop-in yesterday and I learned a thing or two about the changes in season for our program participants.

Now it is getting colder people want socks. Billy came looking for some to warm his bare feet in his running shoes with the soles falling off. I checked the supply cupboard – one white, two red and a grey pair. He took the grey pair which were a bit worn and small, saying it was better than nothing.

Cynthia was shivering when she came in and was looking for a coat. We only had one in the clothing room where we store the donated clothing. She is size zero and this padded jacket was probably a 14. “You don’t want that, it’s way too big” I said. “I need to keep warm at night, I’m homeless again. This is fine.” And she wrapped it around her and went off out to huddle overnight in an ATM kiosk or shelter made from cardboard boxes in the laneway.

Patsy, who is currently couch-surfing, only had flip flops. When you don’t have a permanent home you don’t keep much in hand. You’ve usually lost your possessions the last time you were kicked out. She found two pairs of dress shoes in the clothing room and drew a lot of teasing by wearing one of each for the next hour or so while deciding which felt the best. She found a skirt and sweater and a few other things, and asked to use the drop-in’s washers and dryers to clean them up before putting them on. When she left she looked like a new person.

If you have any seasonal items – socks, gloves, hats, scarves, coats, sweaters, etc. that need to find new homes please drop them off at Weston King Neighbourhood Centre 2017 Weston Road between 10:30 and 1:00 Monday to Saturday and 3:00 to 7:00 on Tuesdays.