HOW IT ALL BEGAN!
Our original home on Rushbrooke in Point St-Charles. Our current home is now on the corner of Wellington and Fortune St.
A modest beginning
In the winter of 1989, three Montreal women were inspired to collect warm clothing and food for the homeless. To meet the demand, they put out a plea to the public through an article in the Montreal Gazette. The response was overwhelming and they were flooded with calls: people wanted to volunteer, donate, and help with deliveries.
The founding of Share the Warmth
Inspired by this outpouring of goodwill and community spirit, the group incorporated in February 1990 and moved to Point Saint-Charles in 1991. Share the Warmth continued to collect and distribute clothing and food to the homeless on the streets, at drop-in centres and in shelters. Today, the second-hand boutique welcomes over 200 shoppers every week.
The Food Bank
In 1992, community members sent out a cry for help for residents living below the poverty line. In response to this cry Share the Warmth’s Food Bank was created. In the beginning, 39 food boxes were distributed to close to 400 families per week. Today, the food bank helps 1,400 people each month, 30% of whom are under the age of 18.
The School Food Program
In 1993, a teacher at James Lyng High School noticed that some of the students were coming to school hungry. He began giving the students snacks but needed help. Our School Food Program was born that year. Today, we prepare and deliver meals to 20 schools in the Montreal area, reaching close to 1,700 children each week.
In 2007, we noticed a lack of activities for young people living in the area. To fill this void, Share the Warmth started a youth group, and welcomed 40 children per week. The youth group provided a place to go after school and presented an alternative to hanging out on the streets or in the park. The enthusiasm shown by the young community members inspired us to further develop our youth programs. Today, Share the Warmth is committed to helping children and youth succeed through a music program, tutoring and bursaries, scholarships, cooking programs and more.
All of Share the Warmth’s programs are supported by hundreds of volunteers, work-training participants, staff, donors, and board members.
Today, Share the Warmth is proud to have become a haven of hope and a maker of dreams for children and members of our community.