Each year for almost a decade I have undertaken a grass roots funding campaign called SOCKS. And over the years we have provided thousands of pairs of new socks to people in need through First United.
Now with the pandemic the need for support has never been greater. First United staff, volunteers and services were stretched already in the face of many problems in the DTES. COVID has just increased the need for support.
In this exceptional year the need for socks is reduced however the need for harm reduction and overdose crisis services is much increased. That’s the reason I’m refocusing SOCKS program for 2020. I am directing some of the funds to these important lifesaving services while still providing some socks.
First United is trying to do more through a harm reduction approach: community members don’t have to be “clean” to access services or stay in the shelter. They provide harm reduction supplies to anyone who needs them. They meet people where they’re at and provide referrals to detox, treatment, or supervised injection sites to keep them safe. The frontline staff at First United responds to overdoses anytime day or night; the community knows that there is always somebody standing by at the front door to help save a life or just offer a nonjudgmental ear.
I hope I can count on your support for SOCKS “Plus”.
Thanks and Stay Safe