Members of the community were invited to eat breakfast and take a tour of Centre105 on September 8, 2022. People who attended were encouraged to donate either money or food to help Centre105 support those in need in Cornwall. Like other non-profits in the area, Centre105 has seen higher numbers of people accessing their services since the pandemic.
The skyrocketing cost of living in Canada has contributed to food insecurity and homelessness in our community, making it a frequent topic of conversation amongst the public, government, and local organizations of late.
“Our city … put together a task force for homelessness in our community. That task force will bring forward the recommendation for affordable housing, and affordable housing will get people off the streets. Because the problem isn’t going away, its growing. We have to work with the two levels of government to make sure we reduce that,” said Mayor Glen Grant, who spoke at the event and thanked the Centre for the work that they do.
Centre105 currently serves a hot breakfast three mornings a week. They provide a safe social space for those who use their services, referrals to community programs, and have a sign-up laundry program. The Centre is also partnered with a many social agencies in Cornwall, including the Recovery Care Mobile Health Clinic, which parks at the Centre every Friday giving individuals access to a nurse and addictions counsellor.
“Have you ever heard the saying it takes a village to raise a child?” asked Taylor Seguin, Centre105’s Executive Director, speaking to the crowd, “We believe the same thing applies when it comes to helping the most vulnerable members in our community. It takes a village to help those in need; it’s a team effort.”
“We need to work together to make sure there are safe people to be around and safe places to be,” added Seguin, “We should never feel unsafe, we should never be without food, and we should never face a night unsheltered. Will you be part of our village?”
Another person who spoke at this event was Phyllis Collins, a retired citizen of Cornwall who has fallen upon hard times and uses Centre105 services. Phyllis was a single mother who raised three children and worked for 38 years. She shared that while her children all went to college, got good jobs, and are doing well for themselves, she has fallen upon hard times.
“I’ll tell you, work all you want but when you go on CPP you’re going to live on as little as possible, because they don’t give you lots. I come to the Centre, and you’re treated like a person here. You don’t feel like you’re begging for something to eat. They make you feel welcome, they’re friendly, they have washer/dryers to wash our clothes. I’ve asked certain places for help, and I came out crying because I felt like I was nobody, I was nothing.”
Like many others in our community, Phyllis must figure out how to stretch $1,000 from CPP to get through the month. In addition to coming in for a hearty breakfast, Phyllis has received other support from the Centre in the form of shoes, clothes that fit and make her feel good, and other basics like soap and personal care items. To her, the people at Centre105 are like family.
“People don’t realize how much Taylor has reached his hand out and he just pulls us in… and that really helps everybody, to know that there is help, there is somebody to help us.”
To learn more about Centre105 and how you can help, please visit their website at https://www.centre105.ca/.