Sudbury

Go-Give Project eyes possibility of drop-in space for those who are homeless

A non-profit outreach group in Sudbury is looking to expand, and is asking the community for ideas.

Volunteers asking for community input on which services will work best in the new space

The Go-Give Mobile Outreach Program in Sudbury, Ont. runs seven days a week, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. And the accept urgent calls 24 hours a day. Their outreach workers distribute nutrition, harm reduction, naloxone, first aid and more. Volunteers patrol the downtown core, Kathleen Street and Notre Dame Avenue, and have occasional routes in the Minnow Lake area and the South End. (Go-Give Project/Facebook)

A non-profit outreach group in Sudbury is looking to expand.

The Go-Give Project started last fall, and offers daily street outreach — giving out food, water and safe injection supplies, as well as connecting people with other local resources.

That one-time project quickly grew, and volunteers now do street outreach seven days a week.

Executive director Evie Ali says she's learned a lot of about the needs of the local community in recent months. 

"There are a great number of barriers for the vulnerable community. But I think the most surprising was their lack of clean drinking water," she said.

"You wouldn't think that that's something that's hard to find. But when you're out on the streets and you know the shelters are full or the resources are at capacity, it's very hard for them to find beverages and things like that."

Ali says the group has been offered a space by a local partner, but they are still waiting on a formal agreement.

The group has been asking community members for feedback on how best to use that space.

"Somebody had actually mentioned to us a space for them to received mail. Which is again another great barrier for homeless people," she said.

"This often prevents them from receiving things like healthcare, identification, financial assistance. So that was a really highlighted point that was brought to our attention by a community member."

Ali says the idea will require more research, but it is something the group wants to look into.

She hopes having a physical drop-in space will offer another option for vulnerable people, when other local services may be at capacity.

With files from Sarah MacMillan

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