The event, UGM’s biggest of the year, serves those who wouldn’t otherwise experience a summer holiday, like 37-year-old single mother Kerry.
“It’s hard when you’re alone. I can’t afford a proper summer vacation,” said Kerry, who, along with her seven-year-old daughter, spent three months homeless last summer. “I could go somewhere, but then I couldn’t pay my rent. I would probably be evicted.”
Now that she’s found housing and is living on a fixed income, Kerry will be celebrating summer at UGM’s BBQ, along with thousands of others.
“It’s awesome, it means a lot,” said Kerry. “I feel cared for.”
The event will offer a slew of family-friendly activities, like face-painting, a bouncy castle, and a mini-carnival.
“Homelessness doesn’t take a holiday,” said UGM President Bill Mollard. “Many struggling in the Downtown Eastside miss out during summer. They aren’t at the lake. They don’t get a break from reality on the street. The Summer BBQ brings a little bit of relief and restoration.”
Union Gospel Mission Summer BBQ 2016
When: Saturday, July 16
Where: Oppenheimer Park
Time: 11 am to 3:30 pm
- 5,000 hamburgers
- 5,000 smokies
- 1,500 lbs coleslaw
- 1,500 lbs pasta salad
- 5,000 cans of pop
- 5,000 Freezies