FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Rev. Al Tysick’s Dandelion Society Braces for Extreme Weather.
VICTORIA, January 11 – Rev. Al Tysick is bracing to help those who live outside prepare for what are increasingly becoming the coldest nights Victoria has seen all winter. With Extreme Weather warnings in effect, Al and his organization, The Victoria Dandelion Society, have a lot of work to do before the freezing, wet weather hits the streets. Tysick is already up before dawn every weekday morning with a team of volunteers to greet the homeless, provide them with coffee and a muffin, and make sure they made it through the night. But Victoria is currently entering a freezing, wet weather snap. With rain in this week’s forecast and temperatures dipping below freezing, Tysick’s team is preparing for some of the harshest nights this winter.
“The colder it gets, you can clearly see the havoc that homelessness wreaks on the body,” says Tysick. “You witness the hacking coughs, you can hear the pneumonia settling into people’s chests. People are in desperate need of anything that might keep them safe and warm throughout the night in below zero temperature,” says Tysick.
While most shelters make additional room during freezing temperatures, there are still people sleeping outside. The Dandelion Society is asking people to donate any extra blankets, socks, or sleeping bags to help Tysick hand out extreme weather supplies. “The freezing temperatures are one thing,” he says. “But the rain is what really does it. Wet weather sticks to your bones. It stays with you all day and night, unless you can completely dry out and heat up, which is difficult to do. If you’re damp when you go to sleep in freezing weather, your clothes can literally freeze.” The Dandelion Society does an overload of blanket runs this time of year, offering a lot of additional care before the sun even rises. “The most heartbreaking thing is when you see someone made it through the night without anything,” he reflects. “Just last week I woke someone up who lasted the night outside without a blanket, sleeping on freezing, damp cement. I honestly didn’t know if he’d wake up.”
Tysick is clear when asked what the community can do. “If you want to help, just think what you would provide for your own child, or elderly parent, or friend, if they were out in the cold. We’re asking for anything that might help others make it through a night on freezing streets. Warm, thick materials that wick away moisture are key for winters in this city. They could save someone’s life, or at least make it far more bearable during this hard season.”
Finally, donations are welcome via the Dandelion Society’s website at hopeliveshere.ca. Rev. Al will use these donations efficiently to buy durable winter gear in bulk, stretching the donated dollar even further.
Rev. Al is available for interviews or tours with journalists on Monday, January 14. Contact info below.
Rev. Al Tysick
ABOUT THE VICTORIA DANDELION SOCIETY
The Victoria Dandelion Society is the grassroots ministry of local homeless advocate Reverend Allen Tysick. The Dandelion Society partners with downtown service providers to offer hope and support for people experiencing homelessness, poverty, addiction, or mental illness. Together with his team of dedicated staff and volunteers, Rev. Al Tysick comes alongside people facing persistent barriers to provide assistance, advocacy, and encouragement.