One of the most beautiful things about the Downtown is the strength and generosity of the friendships you find here. At First United, we are proud of the good, long-term relationships we help forge and foster. One of our most enduring and fruitful friendships is with Hockey Helps the Homeless.
Hockey Helps the Homeless is a fantastic organization on every level: every year, they organize fun tournaments across the country that give people a chance to play hockey alongside NHL and Olympic greats, all while raising funds for local organizations supporting people experiencing homelessness and poverty.
First United has been volunteering at the tournament for years, and it is always a blast! It’s great to rub shoulders with sports stars and talk about our work with tournament participants. It’s definitely a highlight on our fall calendar.
Hockey Helps the Homeless has been supporting First United for years, and has grown to be a keystone supporter of our incredibly impactful Storage program. Through their ongoing support, we are able to offer 200 units of free storage every night for people without a secure place to keep their belongings. The mobility this affords is life-changing: people are able to attend appointments, seek housing, and go to work, without fear of losing their most precious possessions.
This year, in addition to its ongoing support of Storage, Hockey Helps the Homeless has stepped up to support our women’s social programs. This is a fitting partnership: just like a hockey team, our women’s programs are all about people coming together as a team to have fun and offer support.
Life in the Downtown Eastside is hard, especially for women. Women without a support network are extremely vulnerable to violence and crime. First United’s weekly women’s circle creates a safe place for women to socialize, share knowledge, and support each other. Through special activities, including our monthly Beauty Night and women’s dinner, women enjoy opportunities to explore their strengths and passions, rebuild their self-esteem and learn skills to improve their lives.
Having a network of friends to look out for you is vital. We are so grateful for our friends at Hockey Helps the Homeless, whose commitment is helping to make life safer and brighter for women and other vulnerable people in the Downtown Eastside.