Favourite Local Grassroots Group

1. Bear Clan Patrol inc.

1.    Bear Clan Patrol inc.
2.    QPOC Winnipeg
3.    Sunshine House

So far, 2019 has been a good year for Bear Clan Patrol Inc. James Favel, Bear Clan’s executive director, says “growth has been through the roof.”

Favel says there are currently 1,600 Winnipeg-based volunteers for Bear Clan, and the program has expanded to 66 communities across Canada. Two new patrols were added in February (in the West End and on Broadway) that went from running two days a week to four and three days, respectively. Favel says the catchment area has grown hugely in the past year.

“We wanted to see this program grow, and we’re seeing it being picked up by other communities. We’re seeing the volunteerism grow. We’re seeing the community support grow. The greater community is responding with support. We’ve got six or seven grocery stores donating to us on a regular basis,” Favel says.

Also expanding is Bear Clan’s food distribution program, operating out of their new building.

“We started off four or five days a week at first, and we were getting 50 to 75 community members through the doors every day,” he says. “We enhanced our food distribution program, and we’re now open seven days a week and seeing about 200 community members in the building every single day. Our high mark was 428 people.”

Favel says the goal is to distribute 130 tonnes of food by the end of the year, and with current distribution of four to five tonnes per week, that goal seems within reach.

“Poverty alleviation has become a focus for us, so the food distribution is part of that, employment opportunities are part of that,” he says. Bear Clan also helps to co-ordinate temporary work placements for members of the community.

Favel says they hope to see an increase in funding, so that they can address more non-criminal calls that get sent to the police on a steady basis.

Published in Volume 74, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 28, 2019)

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