Urgent Need for Winter Wear for Asylum Seeking Families at YMCA Residence
In the middle of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season it is not difficult to not think about the hundreds of asylum-seeking families who have newly arrived in Canada.Many of them have found temporary shelter and a new beginning at the YMCA Residence, 4039 Tupper Street.
And right this minute for them there is an urgent need for warm winter clothing in all sizes from babies to young and older children, teens and adults. New or gently used thrift store quality coats… not pants…, snow suits toques and scarves, mittens and gloves, boots and cleats are urgently needed. Many of the women are pregnant or have just given birth so there is a specific need for warm larger coats for the mommies and warm infant bunting bags and clothes zero to three months for the infants.
Many of the asylum seekers are originally from different countries in Africa who have found shelter at the YMCA for up to a month and have never had to deal with what is threatening to be a very bitter winter in Montreal. In terms of sizing, a typical Canadian is small compared to the larger African men and women.
Thankfully there is not a need for other clothing… just winter wear that can be dropped off in the boxes located outside the building, 4039 Tupper Street.
The YMCA Residence accommodates hundreds of newly arrived asylum-seeking families. The average stay is usually about a month. During this difficult time, families are often overwhelmed with the steps they have to take to rebuild their lives here. Safely. The YMCA Residence accompanies asylum seekers through this transition period by providing them with a welcoming place and supporting their integration.
The donations they receive in terms of financial support help offer different services such as a free daycare from Monday to Friday so parents can learn about language, culture and getting acclimatized to life in their new hom, activities for youth and kids, and Saturday outings in which staff and volunteers facilitate the families’ integration by showing them Montreal. There is a food bank for asylum seekers who have moved into housing. The emergency winter gear bank is ongoing in the fall and winter months.