'Buck's Brigade' to look after Kenora waterfront

Kenora's harbourfront will once again be maintained by a group of people who may otherwise not have been able to find jobs.

Group made up of marginalized workers, including homeless

Buck's Brigade has done lots of work throughout the summer along Kenora's harbourfront. (City of Kenora)

Kenora's harbourfront will once again be maintained by a group of people who may otherwise not have been able to find jobs.

Buck's Brigade has had its contract renewed to look after the Whitecap Pavilion.

Buck Matiowski, who heads up the group, said he hires only marginalized workers, many of whom are homeless.

"They enjoy it immensely because we've given them something to do," said Matiowski, who's been running the group for about 14 years.

"It's helping to build their esteem and confidence in themselves and their contribution to the city. They say, 'We want to do something.'"

'Very, very important' work

Matiowski said he has two or three full-time employees and a handful of others who come in on an as-needed basis, usually when there's a significant snowfall.

"Having them do some work keeps them away from all of the vices that they might get into," said Matiowski, "so, the work has become very, very important with the social programming on the harbourfront."

The group, which was originally started as the Kenora Assembly of Resources, has done lots of work throughout the summer along Kenora's harbourfront. Matiowski said it only recently started doing work in the winter.

Matiowski said the workers are proud of this year's Christmas display, which features more than 7,000 lights.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.