After helping the homeless since the fall of 2020, a group of dedicated volunteers now have a group name along with a new home.
The group is going by S.O.S., which stands for Street Outreach Sudbury, an intended play on words. The group has been helping vulnerable people with pop up clothing and essential item giveaways since the fall.
"We went with the name Street Outreach Sudbury, and a little connotation to like crisis with the SOS behind it," said Melissa Poitras-Belanger, a volunteer with the group. "It's the original group of volunteers since September but we always worked without a name and today we decided it's important to distinguish from other groups."
In the past, the group would set up in parking lots in Sudbury's downtown core but recently a church offered space in its basement.
Right now the Church of the Epiphany remains closed for worship because of the pandemic but that isn't stopping the congregation from helping.
"Our Archbishop has decided to keep us closed just for safety precaution but because helping those who are less fortunate, the homeless and those is need is an essential service, we have been able to cooperate with the city of Sudbury," said Reverend Elizabeth Green of the Church of the Epiphany.
The city of Sudbury is also offering some support to the initiative to help people in need.
"The city has graciously stepped up and offered $500 a month to help support the heat and hydro here and little incidentals like coffee and that sort of stuff, so it's great that the city is supporting this initiative," said councillor Bill Leduc.
The pop-up is run solely by volunteers and relies on donations to help people who desperately need it.
"I could give them a pair of boots yesterday and then today they don't have them for many different complex reasons. So there is a constant need and turn over," said Poitras-Belanger.
Volunteers and church members said that helping feels great.
"Being in solidarity, supporting and also celebrating what happens when people in the community come together and work together to care for others, a little goes a long way," said Reverend Green.
Donations can be dropped off at the Church of the Epiphany every Sunday between and 1 and 4 p.m. or people can contact the group on Facebook to make arrangements for pick up.