October 31st, 2020

Streets Alive seeks warm clothes for cold days

By Mabell, Dave on November 5, 2019.

Dave Mabell

Lethbridge Herald


Snow is in the forecast, along with colder nights.

And at Streets Alive, volunteers are helping homeless people brace for the coming winter.

But the non-profit agency is always looking for more gloves, tuques and other protective clothing to allow them to meet that need.

“We’re always in need of everything,” says Ken Kissick.

And that includes warm socks, he adds.

Longtime director of the downtown mission, Kissick suggests southern Albertans check their clothes closets. Many people today have more items of clothing than their wardrobe can hold.

So every spring they store their winter clothing downstairs, he observes. And when cold weather returns, many people decide they need something new to wear.

“Take a hard look and see what you really haven’t used,” he urges.

And if you don’t expect to wear some of those items anymore, Kissick says there are people here who would really benefit when a jacket or coat is donated.

“We can always use cash,” he says.

But as warmer clothing becomes so important, Kissick says those items are the greatest need right now.

Hoodies and sweaters are welcome, too. With southern Alberta’s up-and-down weather in the fall, he says they allow people to layer their clothing and avoid getting too warm or cold.

As for gloves, Kissick says donating pairs of “one-size-fits-all” is helpful.

While our coldest days are still ahead, he says it’s this time of year that people without adequate winter attire start looking.

“When we get really cold, people stay indoors” if they have somewhere to stay.

The number of people relying on Soup Kitchen meals also fluctuates, Kissick notes.

Streets Alive volunteers now serve a dinner meal there six days a week.

“We see 125 to 130 people a day,” he reports. “About 80 of them are for a meal.”

While food and clothing are year-round concerns for many helped by Streets Alive, Kissick says his agency is joining other Lethbridge organizations again this season in hopes of providing some Christmas cheer to children and families who might otherwise be unable to share in the season.

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