Topped by the Good Shepherd Angel, homeless Christmas trees placed around downtown Toronto by the Good Shepherd shelter intend to remind the city about the 5,000 homeless people sleeping outside or in shelters nightly. This tree at King and Bay Streets comes with a social media campaign behind it with the hashtag #HomelessChristmas. Photo by Michael Swan

Remember homeless at Christmas

By 
  • December 13, 2014

The Good Shepherd doesn’t want Torontonians to forget there are people living on the streets, sleeping in doorways, eating whatever they can find while the rest of us shop for the perfect Christmas morning surprise.

Toronto’s largest refuge for the homeless has teamed up with Blast Marketing to place sad, cheap Christmas trees on busy downtown corners as a reminder. The square yellow ornaments hanging from the plastic trees read, “Let’s hope it’s only the tree that dies on the street” or “The homeless can’t eat a tree. Please give or at least share.”

The trees at prominent corners downtown have a social media campaign behind them with the hashtag #HomelessChristmas.

Reactions on Twitter over the first weekend included:

o “It’s not how many sleeps till Christmas that count. It’s how people sleep,” from The Which Doctor.

o “Now THAT is a great campaign to stop & make you think,” from Daniel Desforges.

Under the leadership of the Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd, the Good Shepherd at Queen and Power Streets serves more than 1,300 meals a day to the homeless, runs drug and alcohol recovery programs, maintains social enterprises to help the homeless transition to work and operates housing programs. 

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