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Hamilton Mountain ‘service desert’ tackled by new mutual aid network

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Hamilton Mountain ‘service desert’ tackled by new mutual aid network

The sprawling layout of Hamilton Mountain can lead to people in need who live there feeling more isolated and unsure of how to find help.

A new volunteer-run network in Hamilton says they are trying to close those gaps in the social safety net. The Mountain Mutual Aid Network launched this week. They will be working with the St. Andrew’s Church (479 Upper Paradise Rd., pictured) to collect clothing, non-perishable food items and hygiene products that will be redistributed in the community.

“There is a service desert that exists here on the Mountain,” Robert Henriquez, a Hamilton labour and employment lawyer, says in the aid network’s introductory video. “But people are trying to do things that will improve the services that are available, that will improve the connections between individuals. This is a perfect example of that.”

In the aforementioned video, Kojo Damptey, who is the interim executive director of the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion, says the aid network’s reach will try to cover the area between Upper Wellington Street to as far west as Ancaster.

“Everyone needs to know their basic material needs will be met,” Damptey said.

Donations may be dropped off at St. Andrew’s Church between 2 and 6 p.m. each Wednesday. The Mountain Mutual Aid Network’s supply request form includes a list of people that it is prioritizing for support. It also says it will try to redistribute items within days.

More information about the Mountain Mutual Aid Network, including how to volunteer, is also available at 289-768-1068 or by email at [email protected]

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