Matching Gift Campaign Christmas 2018


Being homeless is really hard. It’s a really lonely time. You have to fend for yourself.

your donations

This winter, our long-time supporter Chris Grauer donated $55,000 to match any donation made until the end of 2018! Chris has  told us “I have been so impressed with the work of First – I know this gift will change lives.” Don’t wait – please give now and seize this special opportunity

When Danielle came to stay with us, she had been homeless for four years, and it took another eight months before she found a place to call home. When a friend mentioned the shelter and support programs at First United, she seized the opportunity.

Danielle describes how First United was the key to unlocking so many doors: she got her ID back, had access to long distance calls and travel stipends to stay connected with her family, got involved with the Beauty Nights program, made connections with other women in the community, and got referrals to the other services she needed.

Your gift supports Danielle and others like her all year long.

First United was my key to accessing so many community resources.

Our busy Community Help Desk is the centre for all of our day-use and drop-in programs including taxes, foot-care, referrals, phone and mail, and emergency hygiene and harm reduction supplies. Whatever the season, our Help Desk is here to meet the needs of community members and provide sanctuary in the heart of the city for those experiencing homelessness and other hardships.

The Help Desk provides many essential services all year long. Our clients can:

  • have their taxes filed in the spring (or any time!)
  • get hats, bottled water, and sunscreen in the summer
  • attend a vaccine clinic in the fall
  • come in for a blanket, a hot foot soak, and send a Christmas card in the winter


It took a while to recharge, but about six months into her stay, Danielle reached a turning point. She had built some solid ground beneath her feet and started to make big shifts that would change her path in life. Danielle entered a recovery program, started using less, made some adjustments to her social circles, and got some good sleep.

About six months after arriving at First, my hope began to grow that housing would be coming soon!

Hardship can strike any of us, in any moment. When this happens, it’s crucial to have reliable and effective supports in place.

With your help, we’re able to provide the resources people like Danielle need to succeed.

Please consider giving today.

Your gift could support…

We need your help to reach our goal by the end of the year and continue to offer the much-needed services of the Help Desk. Donate before the end of December, and any amount you give will be doubled by our matching gift donor, up to $55,000. Thank you for your gift and for the support you share with us all year.

Christmas blessings,

The Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne – Executive Director, First United

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