Saturday, June 22, 2013

What does tomorrow bring? A look at Sundays

St. Stephen in the Fields breakfast. Ah yes. Nobody has come up with a good nickname for the place, so we just call it the church across from the fire depot west of College and Augusta. Do they really serve breakfast from 6:30 to 8?

Then there's the corner drop-in, right around the corner, which apparently opens at 8. So there'll be that migration.

Then if you've got a bike, you could catch the Good Shepherd between 9 and 11. Show up in the first half-hour, and your breakfast will probably include protein. Otherwise it's basically just pastries and peanut butter and coffee... which is better than nothing.

If you don't have a bike, you'll be able to make it to the Lawyers breakfast, or if you do have a bike, it's an easy trip from the Shepherd.

If you're not straight, or you're not cisgender, The519 LGBTQ-only breakfast is the place to be. This is an amazing resource for people facing gender and sexual harassment in other drop-ins (and yeah, it's bad).

519 Church is also the place to be for their LGBT-only Lunch. An amazing lunch and an amazing program, like the breakfast.

Then there's the Good Shepherd dinner from 2pm - 4pm. If you've got a bike and some energy, it's possible to make it to the United Church lunch at Roncesvalles and Wright, as well as the Shepherd. It's a crazy trek, but on a sunday it's not so bad.

For actual dinner (2 - 4pm is not dinner), head to either the Evangel Hall Community Dinner or the aforementioned United Church. They're about the same, so whichever's closest is probably best. Unless you want to easily make it to the Grange Park Community Centre Dinner and the St. Stephen In The Fields Church Dinner as well, in which case it's better to line EHM up at the beginning of that run. The St. Stephen In The Fields Church Dinner, on Bellevue Avenue just south of College, one block west of Augusta, is probably the best of the bunch. You can ask to be served outside if it's too packed for you inside. They make you decide between sitting down for your meal or lining up for treats and beverages, so either do a buddy system or decide carefully which order you want to do things in.

It's a full 14-hour day, but on a bike you can collect up to 12 meals, which can be mixed and matched down to about 8 usable meals. So that could cover you all the way through Tuesday. That's two days of potential work. It's pretty much the only way to launch into making any money if work availability catches you in the wrong time of the month. Of course, there's no way to gather enough food to see you through the full three weeks that it takes from the first day of employment to the first paycheque, even with Employment Start-up, so if you don't have a food budget to start with, then launching into full-time or even part-time employment can be a bit premature. The best strategy is to secure one or two days of employment per week, and gradually increase it from there as work becomes more affordable. And the hardest thing of all is having to celebrate your new situation without spending any of the money.

You will need a backpack. But one of those cloth shopping bags is fine. They can be worn like backpacks if you're cycling. A bunch of grocery bags and newspaper are great, cheap stuff for wrapping things up in. It's a good idea to head in with a travel mug, camping mug, something that keeps stuff warm or hot and doesn't spill it all out. Unless it's gonna be in the way. Also, in this summer heat and rain, a good hoodie and a ball cap are musts for both cyclists and pedestrians. For cyclists, a bandana worn over the mouth is great for reducing smog inhalation. With no protection, doing this on a daily or weekly basis increases your risk of several disturbing medical conditions... like everything else about poverty!

Hopefully these tips are useful. Good luck. It's important to be patient and calm - otherwise this process of gathering food can be dangerous.

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