Community groups are hoping to shine a spotlight on homelessness next week.
From Oct. 7 to 13, the city's Community Partners Addressing Homelessness Society will host activities for Prince George's Homelessness Action Week.
This is the seventh year the week is recognized province-wide as an opportunity to raise awareness, take action and acknowledge the collective effort made in communities to combat homelessness.
"We want to focus on the clients and provide something for them," said society co-ordinator Kerry Pateman.
Although they are working with less funding for specific initiatives than last year, the partners are still hosting three special activities next week.
First is the Thanksgiving dinner at Sacred Heart Church on Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The annual meal hosted by the St. Vincent de Paul Society is a large spread that fed 870 last year.
The most-popular Homelessness Action Week event comes on Oct. 9 with Connect Day, held in the basement of the Royal Canadian Legion.
From 10 a.m. until noon, local social and health services will be on hand to offer information about their agencies.
"What we try to do is set up a facility with a bunch of different service organizations that homeless or homeless-at-risk people might be able to come to one location and get some questions answered," said Pateman.
A free lunch will be provided and free haircuts offered for those in need. Last year, a volunteer hair stylist gave 40 haircuts in the time allotted, Pateman said.
"The haircutting is probably one of the biggest draws," she said, adding that many of the people who take advantage of Connect Day aren't necessarily living on the street.
"There's many people that bounce around from friends and neighbours. There's lots that stay in shelters and there's lots in supportive housing and lots living on the edge," Pateman explained. "Those are the kinds of people that will come for a haircut because they can't afford or don't choose to put their money towards haircutting. Maybe they need to pay their rent or medication or food, right?"
In previous years, the group was able to provide 'survival backpacks, but this year budget restraints have narrowed the selection down to reusable bags filled with a blanket, toque, toothbrush, toothpaste and other basic necessities. There will be 200 bags available.
The final event takes place on Oct. 10 when the Native Friendship Centre hosts a pancake breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m.