ABOUT THE SOS HUMAN PROJECT
WE ARE A LOCAL NON-PROFIt.
WE STRIVE TO BRING AWARENESS TO THE HOMELESSNESS SITUATION IN EDMONTON AND SURROUNDING AREAS. WE WILL STAND SIDE-BY-SIDE WITH OUR HOMELESS POPULATION TO ENSURE THAT THEIR BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS ARE BEING MET.
WE ARE NON-PARTISAN AND
WE BELIEVE THAT HOUSING, A LIVING WAGE AND DIGNITY ARE BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE CORNERSTONE OF A SUCCESSFUL SOCIETY.
At the SOS Human Project we believe that everyone has value and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, many who are experiencing homelessness and poverty are treated as invisible at best and overtly discriminated against at worse. We believe that having a safe place to sleep, healthy food to eat and access to resources is a basic human right.
Together we are The SOS Human Project family and we will eliminate poverty, one person at a time.
The SOS Human Project is a small grassroots organization with big dreams. We started out as a family who took in kids who had become homeless. These young people struggled daily to eat, stay safe, fight their addiction, avoid gangs and still managed to stay in school.
The strength of these kids has enriched my life more than I could ever say. Every day they wake up with the strength to smile, to go to school, to dream of a future. They share their strength and courage with every person that comes into our home. They mentor, advise and take care of each other. They have pride in their accomplishments and strive to understand the family patterns that contributed to their homelessness and then to break those patterns.
Together they are the inspiration for The SOS Human Project
Welcome to The SOS Human Project. My name is Sandra. To understand why I dreamed of The SOS Human Project, you will need to hear my story.
As a child and adolescent I didn’t understand what poverty was, but I definitely lived it. I remember my mom having to steal food from work to feed us. I remember the local second-hand store giving me clothes for free and I remember always babysitting my little brothers because childcare was not an option.
I was not an easy child to say the least, but that was nothing compared to what I was like as a teeneager. I was determined to be an adult. I would not accept anyone telling me what I could or could not do. By 14 I was in a youth detention center. I was constantly running away and ended up in group homes. I was in countless group homes and foster homes over the next two years, but my behaviour never changed. When I turned 16, I dropped out of school and decided that homelessness was a better option than being in care.
In a way I was very lucky. In the 1980’s homelessness was not as prevalent as it is now. There were very few services for teens who were homelessness except going into care. The shelters that provided a safe place to sleep were only accessible to adults, but the volunteers all pretended to believe me when I said I was 18.
The homeless community was just that, a community. There was always a network of people around me, guiding me and protecting me. If there was no room for me at the shelter, someone always volunteered to sleep in the park with me. If I was hungry, someone always knew where to go for food.
Life was hard and scary, but I have never in almost 50 years had the kind of friends had when I was homeless.
Some might think that spending several years eating in soup kitchens and sleeping in parks is a waste of a life. I beg to differ.
I met a tenured university professor who lost everything to gambling after his wife divorced him. I met a young man who was a chef, until he caught HIV from a dirty tattoo needle. I met a young man who grew up being molested by family members. I met an older woman who used to be a university student until she was raped, got pregnant and was disowned by her family and the child taken away by children's services.
These are just a few of the people who took care of me when I was at my most destructive self. These were the people who believed in me when I decided to get my life back. These were the people who shaped who I am today.
what we do
Provide Nutritious Meals within the Community
We are currently building our first mobile meal service trailer. We will be going out into the community where homelessness and poverty are prevalent. We will serve nutritious meals, fruit as well as coffee and water for adults, children will get a juice box and a special treat.
Provide a hub for people to access resources
There are many many great resources and programs in our city. We will work with existing and emerging programs to build a community that is centered around helping the most vulnerable people in our city.
Provide a safe place to be heard
So many times we pass by a homeless person and make assumptions about their life and the circumstances that led to their homelessness. We aim to dispel those beliefs. We know that very few people choose poverty and homelessness. We know that they had hopes and dreams. We know that poverty is a slippery slope. One day you have a career, you have a car, your kids are in a great daycare. Then you get hit with job loss, divorce or Covid-19 and you lose everything.
People who are experiencing homelessness need a place to tell their story because we need to learn the true value of life.