Staying dry in Vancouver’s winters is a daunting task for those who choose to only venture out in the rain occasionally. Imagine how difficult and how health-threatening it is for those among us who have no choice.
For years, employees at Arc’teryx have volunteered their time to turn leftover materials into waterproof capes and then distribute them to the homeless. This year, the Vancouver Police Department has agreed to help make that happen.
Arc’teryx, a local manufacturer and supplier of outdoor clothing, will be teaming up with the VPD’s Homeless Outreach Program to distribute hundreds of waterproof capes to the downtown’s homeless population. These capes are designed and built from waterproof and insulated fabrics to help protect some of our community’s most vulnerable citizens.
Currently in its fourth year, the “Birds Nest Project” takes leftover materials from the manufacturing process and repurposes these materials through the hands of volunteers, who donate their time to turn the fabric into waterproof hooded capes.
In the past, Arc’teryx has distributed the capes through the Harvest Project in North Vancouver and the Harbour Lights & First United Church in Vancouver. Arc’teryx is hoping to get the capes directly into the hands of people in need by providing the capes to police officers so they may in-turn hand them out in the community.
“This year, we will widen our distribution by teaming up with the VPD’s Homeless Outreach Program that will enable the capes to be distributed into the hands of those most in need,” says Joanne Mayzes, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at Arc’teryx.
It is a goal shared by the VPD’s Homeless Outreach Coordinator, Constable Jodyne Keller who works with Vancouver’s homeless population on a daily basis and builds relationships with some of Vancouver’s poorest residents.
“The VPD connects with many men and women who unfortunately find themselves sleeping on Vancouver’s streets. Our goal is to offer our support and connect the homeless with the necessary resources to stay safe, healthy and then, ultimately, to find housing,” Says Constable Keller.
“To place these capes directly into the hands of those who need them most is significant. To receive a cape at their ‘home’ is exactly where it is needed the most.”
For more information on the Birds Nest Project, please contact:
Joanne Mayzes, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at Arc’teryx