This is a follow-up to a story published in the December issue of Topic on page 2 entitled Home Sweet Home. On the morning of Wednesday, November 30th the first group of homeless men who have been advocated for and supported by the Westside Neighbourhood Ministry group of St. Philip, Dunbar, St. Helen, Point Grey and St. Anselm, UBC moved into social housing units at Dunbar and 16th Avenue.
The Dunbar & 16th Housing Project dubbed Dunbar Apartments are 51 studio apartments of approximately 350 square feet. The project was developed by the City of Vancouver in conjunction with BC Housing, VCHA and Coast Foundation Society.
A component of this story was the preparation and completion of blankets knitted or crocheted—one for each unit in the complex. On Sunday, November 27th all 51 blankets were blessed at St. Philip’s, one for each unit and 10 lap blankets for wheelchair users to enjoy in the daytime as well. Although St. Philip’s began this project after Easter, it would not have been possible without help. Members of St. Mary’s, Kerrisdale and Christ Church Cathedral were involved in preparation and completion of the blankets as were numerous friends and neighbours including folks from Ontario and the UK.
This project “warmed the hearts” of many people and it is hoped that the blankets will help warm the bodies, souls, hearts and minds of St. Philip’s new neighbours.