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The Catholic Women's League of Canada is a national organization rooted in gospel values calling its members to holiness through service to the People of God.

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Hamilton Diocesan CWL

... a national organization rooted in gospel values calling its members to holiness through service to the People of God.

Dear Sisters in the League,

Ontario Provincial President, Anne Madden, has asked us to focus on homelessness over the next two years. Educating members on the many faces of homelessness is our starting point.

Aside from the obvious, (having no shelter over their heads,) another example of homelessness is an individual living alone in a house with no one to visit or contact them. They really have no “home”. Another is the teenager who couch-surfs because he or she can no longer live with their family. They too are “homeless”. Yes there are many such examples of homelessness in each of our communities.

We can all be part of the solution to end homelessness. We can learn about it (awareness, understanding, staying informed,) lend a hand in our community to manage and end it (action- time, money, donated items,) and lead change in our community (advocacy – influence change, take action).

Learning — why not invite a speaker to your council, visit a community organization, or do an interview and share the learnings with your council?

Lending — a hand by donating socks to the Out of the Cold program, take up a collection for your local food bank or soup kitchen, donate clothing and furniture to homeless shelters or take part in the “Coldest Night of the Year” on February 24th, 2018 a nation-wide event in Canada. Offer to volunteer time at a soup kitchen or food bank. Ask members to donate or have your council purchase sleeping bags to donate to the homeless on the streets. Volunteer to help with the Point in Time Count survey, which is legislated by the government in the spring (info online). I am encouraging each council to try and find at least one way to support those who are homeless in their community.

Leading — Lobby all levels of the government to encourage the construction of affordable housing. All councils could have a mass celebrated at least once a year for those who do not have adequate housing (rather than “the homeless”). Prayers change people – encourage everyone to pray for the homeless and for their needs. Give them the ability to have faith in others, hope for the future and love from their earthly sisters and brothers.

The next time someone says something rude or unkind about a homeless person, set the record straight. When passing a person on the street, smile, stop and talk. Show respect and dignity, you do not need to give them money, but give them your time and kindness. Keep mercy alive by reaching out to members who are “homeless” in their own homes – who are without family and could use a visit once in a while.

To learn more ways you can help, check out HOMELESS on the Exec Notes page, Community Life, or CLICK HERE.

Let’s do our part in our community to manage and end homelessness.

Joan Schurter
Hamilton Diocesan President

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