Kamloops's homeless mat project continues to grow

Shar Froese crochets together a matt for the city's homeless community. In the background strands of bag ready to be turned into plarn can be seen.

KAMLOOPS – Last year, a Kamloops woman started making sleeping mats out of plastic bags to provide some comfort for those who have to sleep on the streets.

She could have never believed how big the project has become.

“It’s huge,” says Shar Froese. “It’s just more and more all the time. We had someone from Logan Lake, a teacher there, that’s going to set up a collection point and then bring them in.”

Froese started the project last year, detailed by iNFOnews.ca, as a passion of hers. She saw there was a need to help, and she thought making mats was the best way possible to do this.

The need in the city has been great for these mats, and Froese and the group of volunteers continue to make new ones.

“I certainly did not expect anything this huge, you know I thought maybe we’d get a dozen or so mats out there but we are up to 81. I’m already fitting more for the next go,” she says.

Making these mats is very time consuming, and over the course of December and January, Froese expects her group made roughly 28 sleeping mats. She expects the numbers to grow though as they constantly get more and more donations, as well as volunteers continually deciding to lend a hand.

Froese has no idea of the amount of people who are helping out with the project, only that is more than she could have ever imagined.

“I have no idea, there are hundreds and hundreds. We’ve got lots working at home. Bedford manor is flattening, sorting, cutting and tying bags. Kamloops Senior village is doing that. Schools are getting on board. It’s just unreal,” she says.

After the sleeping mats are made. Froese and her team drop them off at New Life Community Kamloops. From there, they hand them out to those who need the mats the most.

For more information, check out Kamloops Homeless Mat Project on Facebook.

If you have bags you would like to donate, please drop them off at these locations:

  • Brock Activity Center - 9A-1800 Tranquille Road
  • SPCA Thrift Store - 634 Victoria Street
  • All Glass - 437 Mount Paul Way
  • The Garage - 1331 Battle Street
  • Knit 2 Yarns - 40-1967 Trans Canada Highway E
  • The River 97.5 - 611 Lansdowne Street
  • Canadian Mental Health Association - 857 Seymour Street

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