After witnessing far too many families sleeping on floors without beds or couches, two Calgary men stepped in to lend a hand.
Three years ago, Al Dhalla and Al Mohamed — the “two Als,” as they are fondly known — created Feed A Need, a newly registered Alberta charity, to help families, immigrants and Calgarians down on their luck by delivering donated furniture and other household supplies.
“We just thought there was a need and we decided that we would get a truck, pick up donated furniture and deliver it to those in need,” Dhalla said, adding Mohamed even quit his job to focus his energy on the charity.
“It’s very gratifying to be able to give back.”
Armed with warehouses, trucks and volunteers, the charity has helped almost 3,000 Calgarians.
The Mustard Seed is a familiar source of aid within the “working poor” community.
Those who have jobs but can’t necessarily afford a place to live can work with the Mustard Seed’s independent housing program to help transition from shelters to homes, according to spokesperson Courtney Fliss.
“We also have over 40 different programs from education, employment, personal mentoring, health and wellness and much more to help our clients,” she said.
Since February 2008, the Mustard Seed’s independent housing has placed 30 people per month, on average, into their own living quarters.
Hundreds of organizations are in the city to serve needy Calgarians, and anyone in need of support can contact the United Way of Calgary and Area.