Muslim charity begins cross-Canada campaign to supply the homeless

Homeless hands

As many regions of Quebec conitnue to cope with an extended extreme cold warning, a Muslim charity says it will distribute do its part to help by supplying winter clothing to the homeless in Montreal and Quebec City.

Islamic Relief Canada, which looks to provide emergency assistance to communities hit by disasters, says it is clear the low temperatures put the lives of homeless people at risk.

This is the first time the charity has conducted a relief operation in the country, spokeswoman Nora Shamroukh told The Canadian Press.

In Montreal, hot meals, feminine hygiene products and first aid kits will be distributed on Sunday at the Old Brewery Mission.

The following weekend, the organization will return to distribute up to 500 "winter kits"; their contents will be adapted to the needs of homeless people, but could include winter coats, boots, hoodies, thermal underwear, scarves and gloves, Shamroukh added.

Quebec, one year after the attack

The Islamic Cultural Center (CCIQ), whose mosque was rocked by a mass shooting nearly a year ago, will coordinate the operation in the provincial capital.

"In our faith, all homeless people, without exception, are people we have to deal with," said Center spokesman Mahedine Djamai. "It's our duty. "

The date for distributing the winter supplies in Quebec City has not been determined, but officials are aiming to do so within a week. Steps were taken Friday at four shelters to draw up a list of their needs.

Worshippers at CCIQ were very touched by the solidarity of Quebecers following the attack on their mosque in January 2017. "It is normal for us at the CCIQ to commit ourselves to the citizens of Quebec and Quebec City," said Mr. Djamai. It's a perfectly normal return [on their kindness]."

Call for donations

"It will be expensive, but we will do it," said Shamaoukh. The group is also coordinating delivering winter supplies in Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton. Approximately $20,000 has already been allocated to the project for the entire country.

The charity solicits donations from the public through its website. Islamic Relief Canada will be using any funds from generous Canadians over the next week to buy more clothes, according to Shamroukh.