Coldest Night of the Year – Burlington – Fundraiser Walk for Homeless and Hungry

Many of you will remember walking with me to deliver meals to the homeless. Well here’s a chance to do more to combat homelessness and help those living in poverty right in Burlington. The Coldest Night of the Year is a fantastically fun, family-friendly walking fundraiser that raises money for the hungry, homeless and hurting in 80+ communities across Canada on Saturday, February 21st, 2015.Coldest Night Logo (Date 2015) Bitmap - PNG

In Burlington the host organization is Burlington Open Doors located at St. Christopher’s on Guelph Line. All proceeds from the Burlington Coldest Night of the Year walk will go to support Open Doors programs.

About Burlington Open Doors:
Open Doors serves people living with poverty in Burlington. Your involvement in this walk impacts hundreds of lives in a positive way, helping build a bright future that once seemed out of reach.

By supporting Open Doors you will:

• Help provide over 34,000 nutritious meals a year to families in a social environment.
• Help clothe over 2000 people a year in our Free Clothing Store
• Support 2 after school programs that provide care for children ages 4 and up.
• Support 10 programs and one Network that help people connect with one another, building a stronger social network while providing needed goods and services.
• Provide opportunities and support for over 200 volunteer jobs.
• Support an organization that values and respects diversity.
• Help provide community based programming that targets social inclusion.

Mission Statement:
To provide a welcoming and accessible place for
the gathering together of individuals of diverse
income, education, age, ability and health that
adds an inclusive feeling of community to their
lives.

Background:
Participants in our programs over the last 10 years
have described Open Doors as a community hub.
Through programs and partnerships we provide a
meeting place that offers food, family support and
socialization for all members of the community
that choose to participate.

opendoors

Here are just some of the Open Doors programs in Burlington:

1 Partnership Food Bank West @ Open Doors
2 Weekly Community Dinner
3 Seniors’ Lunch
4 Halton Fresh Food Box Distribution
5 Community Kitchen
6 Halton Meal Network

…more

So click here to go to the Coldest Night of the Year website to sign up, volunteer or donate.

cheers!

Andy

coldestnight (9)

Restaurant at the End of the Internet

New Blog Features Healthy Home Cookin’ Recipes –
Supports homeless outreach and community dinners in Toronto

I launched this new blog [javabistro.blogspot.com] about a month ago for a couple of reasons – I love cooking and I wanted to share some great recipes. I also wanted to have a fun way to raise awareness about homelessness in a way that paralled one of the issues we deal with at Project417 – hunger. We have delivered over fifty thousand meals out on the streets of Toronto with our volunteers. Also over the years we have run many meal programs, both large and small and have amassed quite a lot of great recipes. Right now, we are running a community dinner every Wednesday night in partnership with Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship serving about 70 guests every week.

The Restaurant at the End of the Internet blog uses Google’s Blogger platform and is integrated with Google Adsense allowing us to generate some income to fund more programs to help the homeless – or just buy more food for the sandwich runs and meal programs.  So visit our advertisers and put their revenue to good use. Besides the blog listed above, which is a landing page that plays on the theme of  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the Restaurant at the End of the Universe from author, Douglas Adams, the actual recipes reside on

restaurantattheendoftheinternet.blogspot.com

Canayjun cookin'

Canayjun cookin'

All the recipes will be “Canayjun Tested”. (That would be me – you can tweet me on twitter @canayjun). That’s my favorite part!  Tonite for example I tried out a recipe for homemade Crusty French Bread – baguette style with healthy whole wheat and sprinkled with poppy and sesame seeds. Tried it warm out of the oven with butter and jam… Yum! My co-tester claims it is scrumptious with PB&J (Thank’s for the plug April!)

Anyway, visit the blog now and check it out. If you want you can even submit your own favorite recipes and trackbacks to your own cooking blog pages. Bookmark the site, share it and tweet it up, or sign up for the RSS feed to get updated as soon as new recipes are posted.

Toronto Tragedy – Homeless Man Burns to Death Outside Bank ATM

Homelessness in Toronto has been called a disaster. Now it has progressed to the  point of tragic calamity. The Saturday Toronto Star (Jan 10 2009) reports that John Massie, 46, (known to us here by his street name – Classy), a homeless man who lived on the streets in the heart of Toronto’s financial district, has died of burns he suffered in a terrible misadventure.  It’s almost impossible to retain perspective when reading an article like this. Like many homeless in the dwontown Toronto core, Massie had been seeking a few minutes warm respite from the cold inside a bank ATM lobby at King and Yonge. Like many, he had been drinking, obviously high proof alcohol of some sort – police say he had spilled alcohol on himself, lit a smoke outside the bank and went up in flames. He died hours later in hospital from the burns.

Bench or Bed?

Bench or Bed?

Many volunteers with Project417 have walked the streets of the financial district with me handing out meals and warm clothing, especially the Richmond – King – Yonge – University block frequented by so many homeless. Years ago, Massie probably would have been camped out at Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto City Hall, where upwards of a hundred used to camp on benches and in cardboard huts – but council and the new Mayor David Miller forced most of them off saying the presence of so many homeless was bad for tourism. Those of you who walk with me see where most have gone: two blocks down into the financial district, shivering and living out a hopeless existence up against the glass and steel towers of banks and wealthy corporations.

What will it take to make this city, this country, wake up and see the travesty that is homelessness? The Star reports Massie was banned from most shelters, and even several public parks due to what they called bothersome, anti-social behaviour. Banned then, even from emergency shelter – banned from Out of the Cold programs – banished to walk the streets and sleep on cement, taking refuge in alcohol, even cheap mouthwash – abandoned by the very agencies and programs that exist to help him.  Security guards and shelter workers, many with Dixon Hall, the agency hired by the city to police grassroots Out of the Cold programs in churches,  regularly ban our homeless friends from shelters due to aggressive, violent behavior.  Some church Out of the Cold programs have opted out of having Dixon Hall staff on site,  instead footing the bill themselves for private safety and security staff so they can have more control over decisions such as banning or turning away the homeless. It’s a difficult line to walk – knowing that it may be a life or death decision, as it was for John Massie.

The report refers to “city restrictions that prevent outreach agencies [from] distributing survival supplies…like sleeping bags, hot food and blankets” as a possible contributing factor to the tragic death of John Massie.  These City of Toronto restrictions do exist and they are almost criminal. There is no bylaw cited by the city in imposing the restriction. Several years ago, all outreach agencies that rely on City of Toronto funding to run their programs received correspondence from the city requiring them to cease handing out food, warm clothing, and outdoor gear or face review of their funding – financial coercion, almost hostage taking in effect. I know most of them complied – you used to be able to call the city’s  StreetHelp line and have a sleeping bag or blanket delivered to a homeless person without shelter on the street – no more, but they will offer to transport the person to a shelter at some point in the next few hours – the same shelters that ban them and turn them away. ( A police “drunk tank” would be better than Massie’s fate outside). I know of more than one organization that no longer delivers hot meals on the street because of pressure from city staff.  There is no bylaw being enforced by the city in this – although several right-wing councillors had suggested anyone handing out food to the homeless needed a food vendors licence like the hotdog carts – ludicrous! They base their cruel coercion on the ivory tower philosophy that servicing homeless on the streets only “enables” their street lifestyle and inhibits them from receiving the help they need – help the City of Toronto has bet will come only from their now long-running “Streets to Homes” programs – whose street outreach workers travel with security guards by their side.

Project417 Help the HomelessProject417’s street outreach receives no city or government funding. An independent Christian charity, we will continue to share the elements of our liturgy – in the form of nutritious sandwich bag lunches prepared in churches across the GTA by thousands of volunteers every year. We will continue to walk the streets and be in community with our abandoned homeless friends like John Massie. And we will continue to grieve for each and every homeless man and woman that dies a needless death cold, hungry and alone. Rest in peace John…

To find out how you can walk with me in solidarity to the memory of John Massie, visit project417.com::


Pasadena Texas residents tell stories of Hurricane Ike damage and recovery

The Citizen, a Pasadena Texas newspaper online. Volunteer appreciation stories and residents tell of weathering Hurricane Ike and clean-up recovery in their own photos.

read more | digg story

Andy Coats of Project417 arrived at the Pasadena Salvation Army late Friday to help out local residents slammed by Ike, many still without power 2 weeks after Ike. They have been providing hot meals to locals and dispatching canteens to service a wider area- Galveston, Seabrook and Beaumont. More than 1.8 million meals have been served since the storm.

Today the existing mobile kitchen operated in partnership with Southern Baptist volunteers was being dismantled (12 fifty-three foot trailers) and moved to Seabrook, so the Pasadena EDS Incident Commander, Salvation Army Captain Edward Alonzo volunteered his church and community center, located on Cherry Brook Lane, to take over the cooking that replenishes the canteens. (this is also the site of the EDS Incident Command) I’d already told the Captain I was willing to cook anytime so, even though I’d been planning to do canteen duty in Galveston, Captain Alonzo appealed to me for help. Sure, I said, I can cook… Umm, How many are we talking? 600 the captain said (I didn’t blink- note to self: take up poker). Turns out after speaking with Cedric, the officer responsible for the canteens, it would be 600 meals per canteen.

OK grabbed a calculator and did the math. 4 canteen trucks- 600 lunches and 600 suppers. That. Is. Four. Thousand. Eight Hundred. Meals. So, I’ll be having a busy day tomorrow. Stay tuned. By the way, you can reach me on my cell while I’m here 1+832-472-8421.

Four New Hurricane Ike Updates – Volunteer – Donate

“]Volunteers begin massive Hurricane Ike clean-upSept. 20, 2008 – Four new articles posted on Digg.com today that really illustrate the scope of the disaster relief efforts spawned by recent hurricanes Ike and Gustav across the Gulf Coast region and into the Midwest. Follow the read more links to visit the original news articles for photos and updated relief information. Some of the recent photos posted are mind-boggling – both Ike and Gustav have turned out to be much more destructive than originally reported. Don’t forget to digg the story and improve our search results on Digg.com, a great social networking news aggregator. Scroll down to read the following posts and other recent Hurricane news here at the Mission Log –

  • Hurricane Ike Aftermath – Photos Slideshow

  • Hurricane Ike Victims Toll Rises – FEMA’s Chertoff Criticized

  • Ike Death Toll Rises as Does Victims’ Pain

  • Louisiana: Ike – Gustav Relief Effort Updates & News Releases

And take a moment to consider making a donation to Project417 to help the victims of Ike and Gustav, as well as the ongoing Re-build New Orleans programs which continue today after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Andy Coats is heading down this week to take part in the Ike / Gustav relief operations and finalize plans for the November Home Re-Building team.

Hurricane Ike Aftermath – Photos Slideshow

Dallas /Fort Worth NBC5  – new photos from across the state that show the overwhelming aftermath of Hurricane Ike along with emergency rescue first responders, volunteers and relief efforts.

read more | digg story

Bloor Lansdowne Community Dinner – Toronto

Every Wednesday night the Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship Church (1307 Bloor St. W) opens its doors to the community to serve a free home-cooked meal to the homeless, lonely and marginalized members of this Toronto community. Volunteers help with everything and make friends and share conversation with the guests – real community development. Make poverty history!

Visit the website at blcf.info

updated Jan. 21, 2009

| digg story

Mission_log: New Site about Poverty and Homelessness

Hi everyone. This is a new site (thanks to wordpress blogs) to update and replace my old yahoo! geocities site. I’ll be migrating over most of the information and links from the old mission_log site to this new one, but will probably leave the existing stuff there as well as archives and so on. The site — http://www.oocities.org/mission_log/ — (geoCities closed down but has been archived by oocities.org) will primarily refer readers to this one.  Here I’ll be posting updates about my mission to help the homeless in Toronto, Ontario, Canada – also around the world, like New Orleans post Katrina, and neighbouring cities like Hamilton, volunteer opportunities, poverty relief training, harm reduction, etc.

Feel free to send me feedback. We all have an obligation to make poverty history as the saying goes, including homelessness and to alleviate the shameful conditions of the homeless, low income families, at risk street youth, and the working poor. I’m a hands-on street outreach worker with the homeless. I’ll give you the straight goods about issues like panhandling, squeegee kids, drug abuse and more. For more organizational stuff, click on the ABOUT link above.  The official site is still Project417.com — Talk to you all soon.

<><

Andy Coates

%d bloggers like this: