Welcome Basket Project

Working together with other North Toronto Churches who collaborate on Social Justice initiatives, we are creating Welcome Baskets for people across the city. 

What is the Welcome Basket Project? This is an effort to help people currently living in our homeless shelters transition to their own independent housing. Remember when you moved into your first apartment on your own and you needed a pot to boil water, a plate to put your dinner on, a wooden spoon, some cutlery, a glass for water, sheets and a towel? That’s what’s in a starter kit.  Click on this link to see the list of items in a Welcome Basket.   

Who will be receiving the Welcome Baskets?
People transferring from shelters all across the city will be receiving our Welcome Baskets. We will be working with the community engagement coordinators at the Roehampton Shelter to deliver our completed kits. They will arrange distribution of them to the various locations across the city.

Here’s a quote from Edward, a Roehampton shelter resident who moved into permanent housing on Dec 3, 2020, supported by one of our first welcome baskets.

          “Ending up at the Roehampton was eye opener for me as I’ve never been homeless. Slowly talking with Leroy other staff members including some security staff that I hold very close to my heart,  I realized my life was not over just yet. This homeless shelter actually saved my life as crazy as that sounds!”

Read Edward’s complete story here.

How can I participate?

You have four ways to be a part of this project:

  • Create a basket with your friends or family using the suggested contents list
  • Donate items (new or gently used) from the contents list to include in a basket
  • Make a financial donation
  • Write a brief note of encouragement to the eventual recipient of the basket.

Next Steps:
Create a Welcome Basket

Sign up by September 16 – send an email to Connie Roden to let her know you will be preparing one of our welcome baskets. Connie will be in touch with you to provide more instructions and arrange a drop off date. And if you would like to tell us about your motivation to participate, we’d like to know a little about who you are working with and why you are doing this. Every story is a treasure and we hope you will share yours with us.

Next Steps: Donating Items

 If you do not have household items to donate, but would like to contribute, please consider purchasing the household products and personal hygiene items (#14 on List). All donations will be  collected at the church. Two dates have been selected for dropping off donations: Tuesday September 21st from 10:30 to 12:00 and Wednesday September 22nd from 12:00 pm to 1:30. Please notify Connie Roden which day you have chosen for your drop off. A porch pickup can be arranged if you are unable to bring your items to the church. Please contact Connie Roden if you would prefer a porch pick up on one of our two donation days.

Next Steps: Making a Financial Donation
If you have already culled your cupboards of extra items and don’t want to go out to shop, perhaps you would prefer to make a financial contribution. ESG Outreach is purchasing new sheets and towels, any items that are not donated, as well as a $50 grocery gift card to include in the basket.  Your financial contribution will assist in providing these items. 

Next Steps: Writing a Note

We would like to include a brief note of encouragement to the recipient of each basket. Moving from the shelter into permanent housing can be an exciting as well as challenging time.  Words of kindness and care will help to support these folks in successfully establishing their new life in their new home. 

Thanks for making this Fall project a success, and for supporting someone who has little but greatly appreciates our support.