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A non-profit initiative by a Ryerson masters student is providing extra support to protect people experiencing homelessness in light of COVID-19.
Brandon Arkinson, founder of Moving Hope, said the organization has been dropping off cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products such as menstrual products to shelters.
Moving Hope is a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization that supports 15 different shelters and public service agencies for the population experiencing homelessness in downtown Toronto.
Arkinson said the organization has to individualize their donations based on the needs and requirements of shelters or public service agencies.
“We work with [shelters] to understand their needs,” he said. “Then we give them things like pads, tampons, cleaning wipes, toothbrushes and toothpaste.”
For example, some shelters will not accept hand sanitizers because they contain alcohol, said Arkinson.
“For organizations like the Sherbourne Health Bus [they] would only take single-use items,” he said.
He said the organization would tailor the needs of family-based organizations such as the Native Women’s Resource Centre by providing them supplies in family packs.
In addition to hygiene products, Moving Hope has also supplied gloves and hand-sewn mittens for people experiencing homelessness in Toronto, according to a statement via Facebook and Instagram on March 17.
The organization has also developed other initiatives including The Red Glove Project, where the organization leaves 500 pairs of gloves in highly visible areas on the streets along with hand-written notes for vulnerable individuals to take.
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