Pictured: Great Lakes Women’s Shelter, Malana At Risk Youth Centre, South Port Community Housing Group
Rest and dignity when people need it the most
When a sleep kit is handed over to someone, they are facing enormous stress and uncertainty; experiencing or at risk of homelessness, fleeing from domestic violence, or trying to fid a secure place to call their own home. Often they have experienced forms of trauma, chronic hardship, or poverty and are navigating complex systems to try and receive the support they need. In these situations, the benefits of a safe night’s sleep in a refuge or new home with clean sheets and towel cannot be overstated.
If you are sleeping rough in a tent, in your car, moving from motel to motel, or couch surfing at different places each night, safe, secure, and restful sleep is hard to come by. Sleep deficiency not only negatively impacts mood, cognition, memory, and mental health, but it can lead to and exacerbate chronic health conditions like heart or respiratory issues. When people seek support from a community partner and are able to access a their own room or bed, with clean sheets to climb into, it is often the first safe night’s sleep in a long time.
Having a set of sheets and a towel of your own that is brand new, affords people in crisis a moment of dignity and care. Moving on from an experience of homelessness and setting up new homes is costly and stressful. People will often have been unable to keep their belongings when fleeing domestic violence, staying in temporary accommodation or moving around continuously. In addition, many services are only able to offer pre-loved goods and second hand items. Being handed over new items for you to keep and own shows that people care and helps to boost self esteem.
Donate a Sleep Kit this September
SleepSafe is truly a community driven, place-based, initiative that helps people recovering from experiences of trauma, homelessness, and crisis feel valued, cared for, and supported. This month we are fundraising to continue providing this support and invite you to donate $15 for a Sleep Kit.