Manage episode 261835441 series 2438149
The first few days of the Covid-19 pandemic are a blur for Chris Randall.
Chris is a housing advocate who has been working for years with Saskatoon's most vulnerable people. When the pandemic arrived in our city, he was working on a project that tracks the number of homeless people in Saskatoon. That quickly changed when it became clear how vulnerable the homeless population would be to this virus.
Chris immediately reached out to his friends and colleagues in organizations like AIDS Saskatoon and Quint Saskatoon to see how they could work together to help people. With shelters restricting their numbers and local non-profits closing their doors to help curb the spread of the virus, it became clear there was a gap in services for homeless people. He quickly found support in community organizations and the result was the opening of two hubs (White Buffalo Youth Lodge and The Salvation Army off of 8th Street) that would serve as a one-stop shop for people who needed help during the pandemic.
You'll hear the story of how these hubs went from idea to reality in a very short period of time. Chris tells the story well and is very humble in his role in creating these hubs, but after listening to this episode, I think you'll agree that his passion and drive were crucial in making these hubs open.
Chris has been doing this type of work for years. He genuinely cares for people who, for whatever reason, are searching for a safe and affordable place to call home. He is persistent in helping people and is not afraid to stand up for what he views is right to those in our provincial government who have control over affordable housing in our communities.
Speaking with Chris was a breath of fresh air for me. The past few weeks have felt like a grind as we settle into this new Covid-19 normal. I miss my life of four months ago, which I know is a very privileged thing to say because, as Chris reminded me in our conversation, there are a lot of people in Saskatoon who are far worse off than I am. What they need is our empathy, our compassion, and our energy to help them during this time. Chris is offering all of those qualities and I truly admire him for it.
I hope you enjoy this episode and learn as much as I did! If you want to learn even more about the work Chris and many of his friends are doing in Saskatoon to help homeless people, visit the Saskatoon Interagency Response website. It is inspiring to see so many people come together and help those in need.
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Keep washing your hands and stay safe, Saskatoon.