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Anything you can spare - mitts, scarves, sleeping bags, or just moral support - Castlegar helps the homeless

Today is World Homeless Day and Community Harvest Food will be out by Pioneer Arena raising awareness about homelessness, according to Community Harvest Food Bank coordinator Deb McIntosh.

"If you are so inclined, stop by and drop off mitts, socks, sleeping bags and we will receipt all cash donations," McIntosh said. "Or just come and join us, feel free to bring signs. If nothing else give us honk and a wave. Education is key! Let's bring everyone inside who wants to be inside."

McIntiosh underscored that she's not trying to politicize the problem - she's trying to help solvev it.

"Homeless and cold and nowhere to turn ...what a hopeless feeling that must be. I have no desire to debate the reasons behind homelessness, the studies have been done and information is available.

"What I want to do is bring awareness to it, especially here in Castlegar. I want people you understand that unless we advocate for more housing, including supportive housing, the numbers of homeless will only increase.

"I'm not finger pointing this is a societal issue regardless of of political stripe and I'm certainly not blaming the current council. However, will need to let them know that we, as a community, need to get ahead of this before it is too far to come back from. Homelessness is hard not only the homeless, who are the most impacted, but it hurts local business and it can split a community into us vs them.

"It's happening in other communities and it's ugly. So please, lets have a conversation on how we as a community can deal with this. Stop by, engage, get involved. Many communities have done it, so we don't have to reinvent the wheel, we just to apply what's already been done. Let's talk!"

For more information on how to get involved, call McIntosh at 260-608-1047.