STAYING WARM - Social work students tagged the articles of winter clothing they were hanging so people wouldn’t mistake them for lost items.

RDC students offer warm clothes to homeless

Group of social work students leave various articles of winter clothing in downtown core

  • Feb. 9, 2017 10:52 p.m.

If you walked through downtown recently, there’s a chance you already missed the various articles of winter clothing that were hanging all over Ross Street.

A small group of social work students from Red Deer College spent one night securing warm hats, mitts and scarves to whatever street fixtures they could find including light stands, benches, trees and shrubs.

By dawn the next day, most were gone, said Jessica Gilbertson, a second-year student who helped organize the drive.

In just the last two weeks, students collected at least 70 items by setting up drop boxes at agencies in the City. They attached tags to the clothes, inviting those in need to take whatever they needed to stay warm.

“I am not lost, if you are stuck outside, please take this to keep warm,” the tags read.

At least three people were seen helping themselves within a few minutes after students dressed the street.

Gilbertson said she was happy with the community’s response to their clothing drive and hopes to see it grow into an annual event.

“Based on the fact that every single article of clothing was gone under 12 hours speaks to that need. Hopefully we can do it again,” she said.

According to Zeljka Udovicic, another second-year student, they knew there’s a certain percentage of the homeless who do not use shelters. This was about providing for them, where they are.

There have been other communities in Canada who’ve done this. This is where the students got the idea.

“Everybody has the right to basic needs,” said Gilbertson. “And they are not being met in Alberta. Clothing is a basic need and we wanted to provide them with winter wear to help them stay warm.”

As she ties scarves to trees and adorns the waist-high downtown heritage signs with hats, Gilbertson moves quickly. She has a passion for helping the less fortunate so she enrolled in the RDC program.

“We have a role in helping create change as social workers,” she said. “We’re advocates for people who don’t feel like they may have a voice. I feel our homeless, which are one of the most vulnerable in our population, don’t feel like they have a voice.”

Just Posted

Kings and Queens sweep Briercrest

RDC basketball is begining to gear up for the ACAC playoffs

WATCH: Setters Place officially opens in advance of the 2019 Canada Games

Red Deer is one step closer to the 2019 Canada Winter Games the opening of Setters Place

City council approves operating budget to a tune of $364 million

The 2.02% hike includes 1% for capital investment and 0.11% for the carbon tax

Province not providing aid to Red Deer for its June storm

Cause of storm wasn’t ‘extraordinary’ according to province

UPDATE: Two taken into custody after shots fired in Riverside Meadows

Red Deer RCMP believe incident was targeted attack

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates present visions to Red Deerians

Party members will vote for their new leader on Feb. 7th

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

Most Read