Twenty Years of Smiles for the Homeless

Smiles for the Homeless
For twenty years Kim Coreau has been handing out smiles.
Smiles for the Homeless
For twenty years Kim Coreau has been handing out smiles.

THUNDER BAY – Quietly handing out help, for the past twenty years. The efforts have been mostly under the official radar screen, for most of that time. However yesterday at ‘The Bank” on Victoria Avenue East, Kim handed out over two hundred sandwiches, bottles of water, teddy bears and stuffed animals, all with a smile and a respect for the dignity of people who are often down on their luck.

Homeless People Treated with Respect

MPP Bill Mauro, on meeting Kim commented, “Its not often you meet a Saint”.

The effort has been one of simply working to help in a situation that needs it.

In the downtown often the downside of addiction, homelessness, and problems are seen. It is however through offering real solutions on the ground that problems are solved.

The area where Smiles for the Homeless were set up yesterday is the old CIBC Bank on East Victoria Avenue. Over the past several years, the Urban Greenscapes project has been on the ground cleaning up and making a difference. They have helped pave the way for more activities in the area.

The property owner, Habib has been fully supportive, and the gardening, regular garbage pickup, and positive engagement with people in the area has really helped.

The same approach is happening at Shelter House where a gardening project is ongoing has helped share a message of hope.

Often it seems depending how far up the political chain one goes, many of the issues facing a community end up as statistics on a piece or paper, or in a white paper presented to one of the levels of government. 

Smiles for the Homeless and Urban Greenscapes are putting boots on the ground right where the real problems are. That helps hold the line so that real solutions can be found.

Bill Mauro had it right yesterday, “Its not often you meet a Saint”.

James Murray

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