This is an initiative involving dozens of local organizations and businesses coming together to support homeless people in Calgary.
The Pop-up Care Village, which was set up at the Kerby Center on Tuesday afternoon, is designed to support the community by providing basic and necessary services – all under one roof.
Pop-up care village comes to Calgary to help the city’s most vulnerable
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It is a service that a man can identify with only too well.
“I never asked for help until I was 28, on my deathbed of addiction,” Robert McLaren said.
“I finally asked for help.”
McLaren lived on the streets from the age of 10 until his late twenties.
He said that for fear of shame, he never asked anyone for help. But now, years later, he’s the one collecting the donations, supporting those who are in the same shoes he once was.
“I just celebrated 13 years of sobriety from hard drugs. I remember being homeless on the streets and not being able to get anything,” he said.
“Being able to come back and give to these people makes me feel warm, and having my family do it with me is more rewarding than anything.”
Damon Parisian has been drug free for five years. He was also at the event on Tuesday to help give back. He says he knows how essential these services are for those who need them.
“It opens up opportunities for a lot of people who may not know what aid is,” Parisien said.
“A lot of people don’t know how to ask for help because of trauma and things they’ve been through in their lives.”
Fifty organizations were helping the pop-up care village, which offers several free services such as healthcare, clothing, food, immigration and housing assistance, on Tuesday.
“We want to create and make sure we have a safe space for people to relax and have fun so they’re not constantly in survival mode,” said Bill Zheng, pop-up event manager. .
“They can look for all the services they need in one place at the same time, and just have all their needs met rather than going to every organization in Calgary,” Hanna Woodward, program coordinator at BeTheChangeYYC, says of the ‘event.
The next pop-up care village is scheduled to take place in September.
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