If you’re homeless, there are no shortages of issues to contend with every day. Issues that most of us wouldn’t even think twice about. But have you ever thought about what they do with their stuff? Like where they store it? For many, there is little choice but to tote it around with them wherever they go.
It can be exhausting. Especially in winters as notorious as the ones seen in Canada. That’s why we’re thrilled that The Citypak Project recently visited Toronto to give the homeless community some free backpacks. The project started in the U.S. a couple of years ago and has so far handed out 22,500 bags in 52 cities, but Sunday marked the first time they were given out on Canadian streets.
“Oh my goodness you try walking down the street with five, six bags and carrying clothes and winter gear and food and that,” one woman, who identifies as homeless, says in the video above. “And then you’ll get yourself a backpack and you’ll see the difference.”
These aren’t just any ordinary backpacks either.
For one, they’re be stuffed with hygiene products. But they also feature a hide-away poncho designed for rain, an anti-theft strap that can be looped around a leg, reflective strips for overnight safety and lots of pockets for storage.
To make things even better, The Citypak Project teamed up with local group Homeless Connect Toronto to really pay it forward. Together, they held a huge event that offered 75 different services, including hair cuts, dental screenings, a clothing bank, bike repairs, legal and immigration services, an ID clinic and so forth.
“You name it, we have it here on site,” Melody Li with Homeless Connect Toronto said.
In all, about 750 backpacks were doled out. You can learn more about the event in the video, above.