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Union Gospel Mission sees number of families in need double

DH Vancouver Staff Nov 23, 2015 7:50 am

It’s time to put your money where your heart is with the Match Fundraising Campaign at the Union Gospel Mission.

Starting today until Thursday, November 27, all donations made to UGM will be matched by a group of generous donors. With the number of people, especially families, coming to UGM for even the most basic needs, the campaign couldn’t come at a better time.

“It’s quite heartbreaking when you see entire families come to us every day just looking for something as basic as a meal,” Jeremy Hunka, Senior Public Relations Specialist at UGM, told Vancity Buzz.

Hunka says that over the last year UGM has seen a concerning rise in the number of families coming to the them for help.

“A year ago we probably would have seen a handful of people, maybe two different families coming to us for meals,” he says. “Right now, we’re seeing 20 to 40 people regularly, every day. Entire families. We’re talking families of three, four, five people, we’re talking single fathers, single mothers, we’re talking children – some toddlers, others in their early teens. It’s a pretty drastic increase we’re seeing.”

With the cost of living rising across Metro Vancouver, Hunka says people are being left with fewer and fewer options.

“Groceries are going up, food is going up, rent in particularly is going up and it’s really pushing people to the brink,” he says. “As the cost of living rises, we have seen government assistance not keep up with the same pace. People are running out of groceries sooner, they’re running out of money for clothes, for education, for school supplies for their kids sooner, and they’re coming to us sooner in the month for help.”

Basically functioning as UGM’s Christmas fundraiser, the Match campaign is a vital part of UGM’s operating expenses, and allows them to provide services many people in the city would be devastated to lose.

“These are really critical funds, it’s quite crucial,” A lot of this money will go to helping families with young children, who are coming to us looking for help.”

For more information on the Match fundraising campaign, and how you can help, visit Union Gospel Mission’s website.




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DH Vancouver Staff
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