Big Hearts Small City History
In 2012, Scoops Gives Back was started, after seeing gaps in community resources in the Greater Moncton area like for fire victims. Then in 2014, We changed the name of the community group to Big Hearts Small City, since then we have grown a lot in since 2014 to be not just in Moncton, NB area, but now in Fredericton, NB, and Miramichi, N.B. As of March 2015, we have become an official non-profit origination. We are here to support people in emergency situations such as fire victims, the elderly and the homeless. As of March 2016, Big Hearts Small City’s registered as a charitable outfit and our Number associated with such is: 819103961RR0001
To relieve poverty by providing shelter, food, clothing and other essential necessities of life to individuals or families who have experienced house fires or other crises, or who are poor and in need.
Our clientele includes the following:
1. Fire and disaster victims
2. Elderly people of modest means
3. Homeless people and people in poverty situations
We help people in various emergency situations and work 24/7 to provide support as needed. We are the only organization in Atlantic Canada that rapidly rehouses disaster victims. We currently operate in Moncton, Fredericton, and Miramichi, and hope to be in other cities in New Brunswick in 2016. We are 100% volunteer-based, which means we have no paid positions. We have 6–7 volunteers at all times but can call on assistance from more volunteers when an emergency situation arises. In 2016, we expect to help and relieve up to 200 people in poverty situations, in the cities we serve. The number could be more depending on if the need arises.
Our organization is set up to help relieve poverty in the following ways:
Fire and disaster victims:
To relieve poverty by providing necessities of life, including food, clean water, medical supplies, clothing, and shelter to victims of disasters. During a fire or time of disaster, we give fire victims assistance with finding a place to live in connection with Red Cross.
Red Cross lets us know when a fire victim does not have insurance, a place to live or family they can go to, and if they are not on social assistance. If we are not there to help, a person could become homeless as we are the first response team when it comes to rehousing fire victims. We also assist with any replacement costs for identification after a fire, to help people get back on their feet as soon as possible. We do not give cash directly to our clients, but would directly pay costs to the businesses or companies that are needed to help. Those cases are referred to us by Red Cross or direct contact from people in emergency conditions. We carefully vet every case referred to us. When this happens, we contact the person in need and find out what kind of apartment they need and budget they can afford. We then go to our databank of apartment property owners whom we have contacted to provide a free month’s rent and delay in damage deposit for a person in an emergency disaster situation. Our timeline for helping someone like this is three days. If someone needs help with a deposit, we will help out by paying for the deposit and rent if it’s needed. As an ancillary and incidental activity, we also promote safety by providing the public with fire prevention or general safety information to help people avoid situations that may put them in emergencies
Elderly, Disabled and people in poverty:
To relieve poverty by providing residential accommodation. How do we select people that we assist? Were contacted by registered charities such as Senior Information Centre, Salvation Army, Red Cross and many others. They contact us when they cannot assist someone with their situation for help. We also are directly contacted by people who are in need of assistance. To qualify for support from us, a person must show that they have exhausted other avenues of funding and support and are still short of the total needed for emergency assistance for medical equipment, emergency housing repairs. When applying to our organization for funding and support, it's a good idea to have a record of any organizations you have already approached and the result of each. They must show that they are in a poverty situation, demonstrate a lack of mobility. For medical equipment, a written referral from a health professional is required for this service.
In 2016 we started a Bed Donation Program, we get good condition used beds from our partners at Sleep Country Canada. We provide them at no charge to people in poverty in Greater Moncton and we hope to expand this to other cities in 2017.
We help the homeless get off the streets and into rooming houses and bachelor apartments. We provide damage deposits and first-month rent to help if possible as well. We will help cover the cost of identification for homeless people so they can apply for government funding, etc. We get cases referred to us by other homeless or outreach organizations to help someone. We also help emergency domestic violence shelters, so women or men who use them do not become homeless if those shelters are full at the time. As an example, when Crossroads for Women’s shelter is full they will contact us when they have a domestic violence victim that needs a place to stay, and we will work to find them accommodations.
We are trying to find solutions to ending homelessness as opposed to putting Band-Aids on the situation. We also work with the working poor, helping them with resources and tips that can assist them in their situations. We work a lot with the main food banks in Moncton, Fredericton, and Miramichi.
We are members of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness and Homeless Hub, and we are on the Prevention Committee of the Greater Moncton Homelessness Steering Committee. These are all registered charities designed to help put an end to homelessness. We are helping those who are in poverty but doing our best to help with prevention of poverty to help slow down the need for help. We focus on the Housing First model, which aims first to provide people with affordable housing and then find them a support network to deal with their needs. Were also focused on having more affordable housing, helping eliminate the need to use food banks and having the right support and resources available to help each person that is in need.
Other Relevant Information
We're based in Riverview, New Brunswick, near Moncton. We do not have any office space or rental space, so there is no cost for us at this time. In Fredericton and Miramichi we have volunteers that work as needed, case by case, and there is no office space for them. We are trying our best to keep expenses as low as possible.
We plan on helping anyone in an emergency situation. If you need help and have nowhere to go or turn, we are here. We are here to provide direct help, to answer questions, point people in the right direction for resources or provide referrals. If someone needs help and falls in our purposes, we will do our best to help them out. We strongly believe in not duplicating services, but to fill in gaps in resources. This is why we work so well with other charities in our areas.
We work co-operatively with other charitable community organizations, as we refer clients to them and they also sometimes refer clients to us. For example, if someone needs a food box and does not have a car, one of our volunteers will deliver it. We receive donations of clothes, household items or food from the public. This is often done through our social media reach when a situation of need arises. For example, when there is a house fire and a person or family loses everything we, get a list from the fire victim of what they need, clothing sizes, a list of household items, etc. We then ask the public’s help for an exact list of donated items that is needed which greatly helps in this situation. With our volunteers will sort out donated items and be sure the fire victim gets what they need to get back on their feet again.
Other Purposes and Activities
Our other purposes that are beneficial to the community in regards as charitable include, promoting senior well-being by providing the public with senior safety information, by making the public aware of issues by doing Public Service Announcements (PSA) about checking on seniors that may be alone. Especially in the summer hot days and during storms or winter time.
Our other activities that are beneficial to the community in regards as charitable include, relieving poverty of persons of low income by providing information and tips to help people that are struggling with money. We share via social media important updates about other community partners who may be struggling with donations or support. We feel important that all not for profits should work together to help others. We also use social media in many ways to educate the public on our need for special help for others, we use it to share PSA updates from community partners, RCMP or local police, City or Towns. We believe knowledge is power and the more information gets out there people can help or they will become better informed on what is going on in their community.