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Multi-faith volunteers hand out homecooked meals, wellness kits for homeless

Diverse cultural and faith communities joined forces Sunday to help out Edmonton’s most vulnerable. Laura Krause has more on the warm gesture on a cold winter day.

By News Staff

Edmontonians of multiple faiths and cultures gathered Sunday at McDougall United Church to help the city’s unhoused population.

Volunteers prepped, cooked and distributed chili to Edmonton’s most vulnerable. They also provided wellness kits for those in need.

The volunteers walked down 101 Street toward Boyle Street Community Service and handed out food and kits along the way.

“With temperatures fluctuating and shelters at capacity, a hot meal and wellness kits provide some temporary relief for folks who are unhoused or living rough,” said Yasin Cetin, the director of outreach and engagement with the MAC at McDougall, in a statement.

The volunteers were from all walks of life, as the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), Human Concern International (HCI) and Bent Arrow all took part.

“We walk hand in hand with agencies of all faiths committed to improving the lives of the most vulnerable Edmontonians,” said Vernon Boldick with the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society.

The latest data from Homeward Trust show there are more than 2,800 homeless people in Edmonton.

“As we are located in the heart of downtown, the large number of unhoused people – many of whom are Indigenous – are indeed part of the community of this church,” said Larry Derkach, the Chair of the McDougall Church Council.

“Being able to offer some assistance and personal connection to folks out on the streets, along with Muslim and Indigenous partners, is an important, if small, act of practical outreach.”

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