Time to shame a low level MAYOR and Council.. Time to support Paul Tavares’s Effort on behalf of the HOMELESS..

By  | February 12, 2017 | 6 Comments | Filed under: uncategorized

Cambridge man to sleep 90 days in cold tent to raise awareness for the homeless

Fundraising effort sparks mix of reactions, but is generating conversation about homelessness


Cambridge Times

CAMBRIDGE — In quietly setting up a tent in the freezing temperatures on private land but in public view, Paul Tavares is quickly becoming a catalyst for conversation about homelessness in Cambridge.

Tavares’s tent, pitched with permission on a vacant portion of Shoppers Drug Mart property near the gateway into Galt, has exposed varying attitudes towards the homeless, a segment of society normally hidden from the public eye.

Since the Cambridge man set up his tent early Monday evening (Feb. 6), responses have ranged remarkably. Yet none of them have surprised him.

Some residents have complained to city bylaw officers, demanding he vacate the drug store’s lot, while others, including a mother with her five-year-old boy, stopped to hear his story, then ran home to donate a warm winter coat.

What few knew upon first glance is that when Tavares set up his tent, he was embarking on an endeavour called 90 Days and Nights in the Cold. He plans to brave freezing temperatures – plummeting to –17C at night – to raise money and awareness for organizations that work to help the homeless.

Reactions, good and bad, are the result of Tavares’s deliberate decision to let his story gain moment organically. He didn’t alert the media of his plans, preferring to let news agencies to find out about him once the public had a chance to vocalize its own perceptions.

As someone who has had to live at the Bridges shelter and has slept in Dickson Park’s agricultural stables, Tavares knows whereof he speaks, and wants to show a side of the city some don’t want to admit exists.

“By being the radical guy that’s in the tent, I’m raising the awareness and being in the face of the people who either don’t want to see it, or refuse to see it,” he told the Times. “It’s there.”

His strategy to generate discussion appears to be working.

Local Facebook chatter has been peppered with comments remarking on how bad things must be in Cambridge and how few resources are available for those who live on the street.

Since news stories about this cause have emerged into headlines and social media forums, positive responses are growing. Well wishers are continuously dropping off donations.

Tavares aims to raise $10,000 to split between Cambridge Shelter Corporation (The Bridges), Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank, Trinity Community Table, The Vineyard church and Hand Up for the Homeless Cambridge. So far, he’s raised $750, as well as food and clothes donations.

While his intentions are geared to making a difference in his community, Tavares is also hoping his good deed will serve as repayment for his own poor life choices. Currently unemployed, he admits to making many mistakes in his life, some which hurt his family and friends. Tavares even aimed to serve his city by throwing his hat into the mayoral race during 2014.

“I’m a guilt-ridden person and I feel guilty,” he said. “Pride has been a thing for me. I feel bad for being where I am. And currently this is the only way I can pay.”

Pity isn’t what Tavares is looking for, however. When people stop by to drop off food, hot coffee and blankets, he expresses his appreciation, but encourages people to keep giving to local organizations that help the poor and the homeless.

“What I’m hoping is that the number of people who are backing me, and sending me comments and sending me coffees, and dropping off stuff, that (those donations) transition into people making donations and dropping off food and clothing.”

Those who want to follow or donate to Tavares’s 90 Days and Nights in the Cold journey can visit his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/100daysandnights/.


Editors Note:

Please stop by daily to encourage Paul’s brave effort and bring him a timmys/ and a sandwich..

Remember to donate to his causes/charities




6 Responses to Time to shame a low level MAYOR and Council.. Time to support Paul Tavares’s Effort on behalf of the HOMELESS..

  1. mjqsmith@bell.net'
    Maggie Smith February 12, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Good for Tavares – but when most of these people wish to be homeless – not much we can do about that. We, as a family, donate to many causes in the City. Also our Church, St. Andrew’s Hespeler has a dinner & a supper and supplies clothing & housing items weekly in HESPELER.
    Maybe Tavares could talk to our idiot Mayor about the WASTED Millions on the Bridge to NOWHERE and help out some of these unfortunate people. Or maybe he could supply some of them jobs around town. It certainly is a sad situation when we have a country bringing in 40,000 refugees but can’t look after our own people already here. Then we have Dyke at the City getting paid approx. $250,000./year – for what – a puppet for the Mayor. It is sad to see those people at the Delta begging for food/job/help when we have our Mayor/City throwing money away on useless items.
    Good luck to Tavares to at least making the people in the City of Cambridge aware that we have this situation here. Shame Shame to Mayor Craig!!!!

  2. lvann_11@sympatico.ca'
    Tom Vann February 12, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    I really enjoy talking to Paul. Clever fellow and I wish him well.I like what he’s doing. I may or may not get down to see him or even donate to him personally but will try. Lucy and I have assisted certain homeless and families for years now. Numerous kind individuals help out and have been on board for close to 10 years now. I can say first hand that there is a great deal of personal pride and satisfaction doing this. As for Lucy, few know what this lady does for people. Tony Roberts stood out for me as a local hero by helping thousands of people. Let’s hope Paul hits his goal.

  3. ahandupcambridge@gmail.com'
    Mandy Laros February 12, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    In case anyone is wondering…Paul enjoys a Large DD before 6pm and after 6pm, Green tea-Black 🙂 If everyone tells 1 or 2 people this will spread like wildfire!! Cambridge is a huge city!!! Just think…if half the city donated $2…WOW!!! 10G should be a piece of cake!! Let’s go Cambridge!!!

  4. mmacsmm@gmail.com'
    Marcelo De Araujo February 13, 2017 at 3:19 am

    Whether one agrees or not with Paul´s initiative, at least he is taking a strong stand for something he believes in, which is something most of us (myself included) rarely do with vigour and determination. The only way to change the world (not, the best way) is through example. As for Paul, although he may have made some poor choices in life, no one is beyond redemption

  5. leskadar@rogers.com'
    les February 28, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I congratulate Paul on his effort.
    While visiting him on Sunday, I learned a lot about the ” stigma ” and the many many issues with the entire homelessness problem.
    BTW, he will take your empty liquor or beer bottles and cans, empty of course and the money is being donated, it’s not for him.
    There was a very steady stream of people stopping by.
    Hopefully his efforts don’t fall on deaf ears of those can effect change.
    Finally, apparently most of those who are standing by the main intersections begging for work/money, are professionals.

  6. lvann_11@sympatico.ca'
    Tom Vann March 1, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Some of the beggars at the intersections I recognize as drug addicts that use needles. So, donate if you choose to support their habit and dealer or offer to buy them a meal. Be prepared for the meal turn down. I have only had 1 person accept a meal so far.

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