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Cornwall Youth Centre using grant to fill kitbags full of essentials for the homeless

Kara Acorn, left, who runs the Cornwall Youth Centre, said her members came up with a great idea to help the homeless. They’ve packed kitbags full of everyday essentials to give out. Helping to distribute these kitbags is Tami Strictland-MacIntyre, who runs Downtown Charlottetown Inc.’s street navigator program. Strictland-MacIntyre works one-on-one with those in need on the streets in the capital city.
Kara Acorn, left, who runs the Cornwall Youth Centre, said her members came up with a great idea to help the homeless. They’ve packed kitbags full of everyday essentials to give out. Helping to distribute these kitbags is Tami Strictland-MacIntyre, who runs Downtown Charlottetown Inc.’s street navigator program. Strictland-MacIntyre works one-on-one with those in need on the streets in the capital city. - Mitsuki Mori

CORNWALL, P.E.I. - The Cornwall Youth Centre has been given a grant that it is using to help homeless people on P.E.I.

Kara Acorn, who runs the youth centre, said two of her members applied for grants through an organization called Taking It Global. One of the grants was approved in the amount of $750.

“One of our youth wanted to do what she called helping bags,’’ Acorn said.

“So, what we did was we took the money and spent the whole $750 on making up these kitbags, which translates to be about $75 worth of product in a bag. We wanted to distribute it to those that are less fortunate and can’t have everyday essentials like we do. They’re going to anybody that’s at risk and in need of these products.’’

When the grant was approved, Acorn got in touch with Tami Strictland-MacIntyre, who runs Downtown Charlottetown Inc.’s street navigator program. Strictland-MacIntyre works with panhandlers to help them get the essentials they need, find jobs and a place to live.

“She covered it all,’’ Strictland-MacIntyre said, referring to Acorn’s work. “Kara did male bags and female bags.’’

Acorn said the bags contain lots of non-perishable food items. There is cereal, instant noodles, cookies, bags of sunflower seeds, puzzle books, blankets, baby wipes, juice boxes, Tylenol, socks, hats, nail clippers, a $10 Tim Horton’s gift card, mitts and more. The female bags also include feminine hygiene products.

Strictland-MacIntyre said they’ve just begun to hand the bags out.

“I gave one to one of my clients,’’ Strictland-MacIntyre said. “She loved it. She was just over the moon happy and she didn’t have any of the (items). It felt really good giving it to her. She couldn’t thank me enough.’’

Acorn deflects any credit for the initiative.

“It’s not my project,’’ Acorn stressed. “It’s not something I did. I take pride in knowing that I helped one of my youth initiate the project. To know that one of my youth came up with this idea and I helped her do it, that’s what I take more pride in. It’s knowing one of my kids wanted to help, that’s where it gets me.’’

dave.stewart@theguardian.pe.ca
Twitter.com/DveStewart

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