Winters in Saskatchewan are known for blistering cold and whistling winds that stick around for weeks with no relief. Temperatures often dip into the negative thirties (centigrade) which, with windchill, feels like minus fifty. This is the type of cold that renders vehicles useless and can cause frostbite in a matter of seconds.
Cold winters might be the source of the best Canadian jokes, but they also pose areal threat to the most vulnerable members of our community. For some, staying indoors and going into ‘hibernation mode’ is simply not an option. Finding shelter against the cold is a feat in and of itself, let alone meeting other essential needs such as basic nutrition and hygiene.
When the temperature drops, the shortage of shelter beds and resources becomes a very immediate problem. In these times, demand for winter clothing, food and supplies also increases, with local organizations struggling to meet demand. Overcrowding is a common complaint; in fact, a point-in-time homeless study, conducted in April 2018 by the City ofSaskatoon, the Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) and the Community University Institute for Social Research, determined there were only enough shelter beds for roughly one third of Saskatoon's counted homeless population.
So, on January 10th, with temperatures well into the negative 30s and holding strong, we decided to devote our team building day to helping others. The Algarithm team (with help from some generous KeyLeaf staff) assembled over 200 homemade sandwiches and delivered them, alongside 200 pairs of warm winter socks, to The Lighthouse Supported Living Emergency Shelter.
“Giving back was always intended to be a central part of Algarithm’s culture. From initial planning and the very first budget, giving back to local, regional, national and international organizations and communities has been an investment and contribution we knew we would make. For most shelters and community outreach organizations, one of the most appreciated, in-demand items are new pairs of socks. Given the extended temperature lows, and our desire to have our team building day be a day for us to work together, have fun and support others, we decided that offering socks and sandwiches would be rewarding and helpful.”
— Ben Kelly, Co-founder and Managing Partner
It was very rewarding to do something tangible to help our community, but we know there’s more to be done. And so, we look forward to making Socks and Sammies Day a more frequent, more impactful mainstay of our contributions.
Learn more about The Lighthouse Supported Living: www.lighthousesaskatoon.org