Good Samaritan serving up take-out Christmas dinner

·2 min read

Good Samaritan Inn will be offering take-out Christmas dinner for people and families in need.

Christmas dinner will be available for pickup on Friday, Dec. 18, from 2 p.m. till 5 p.m. at 108 Bloor Ave. in South Porcupine.

Dinner will include chicken, mashed potatoes and veggies, some dessert and chocolate, a water bottle and Gatorade. For people who come with children, volunteers have also wrapped and prepared gifts.

In previous years, people would stay to eat but because of COVID-19, it is take-out only, said Good Samaritan Inn’s office manager Agnes Okonmah.

“Not everyone is able to have a nice dinner for Christmas, so we decided to focus for those who really need it,” Okonmah said.

Good Samaritan Inn reopened Oct. 19 as transitional housing with 12 beds for men only. Accommodation is provided to clients who are referred through local agencies.

“We want to help people who are ready to help themselves, who have gone to treatment, who are looking for a place to have a rest and then move on to the society, get finances together,” Okonmah said. “We can work together, exchange ideas and help the individual to move on.”

Accommodation is provided for six months but certain exceptions can be made.

The non-profit used to operate as a walk-in homeless shelter. The previous building at the corner of Evans Street and Golden Avenue was destroyed in a fire in 2018.

“We’ve been struggling, up and down, trying to reopen. Then, we were OK to open, then the COVID hit,” Okonmah said. “So, we decided weather is getting cold, people need places like this but we decided to change our services from a shelter to transitional housing."

"Our focus is to help. It was very challenging but we got up. We rise, we pull others. We just decided not to give up."

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,