At the November 15, Hamilton AM Rotary morning meeting members were treated to an inspirational presentation by Jeffrey Ng, the Volunteer Executive Director of Gore Park Community Outreach.
Gore Park Community Outreach started on Feb 13, 2021 with 6 volunteers on a winter stormy day.  They served 35 guests around Gore Park, starting with peanut butter and jam sandwiches and a big pot of chicken noodle soup.  Hamilton AM club member, Ryan Dorosz is currently a volunteer and arranged for today's speaker.

Gore Park Community Outreach (GPCO) is a collaborative and inclusive outreach that is 100% volunteer based. They consider themselves a teaching outreach that encourages the next generation of volunteers, particularly the students to help others in need of a little help and support.

Currently, they are serving around 700 weekly with about 100 volunteers consisting of 50 serving at the front line and another 50 helping us prepare the meals and supplies.  Gore Park Community Outreach is a collaboration of many different organizations to help people in need within our community. 

When we first started, GCPO's focus was serving the homeless around Gore Park.  Currently, 80% of the people we serve are seniors, people with disabilities and families with children, refugees, post secondary students, and the other 20% are people living in shelters and those experiencing homelessness.  Last October 7, 2023, they crossed the 800 mark and had to turn people away because they did not have adequate supplies to help them.

The volunteers are at Gore Park, serving every Saturday (52 weeks) under all weather conditions.  However, what began as a commitment of just a few weeks has evolved into an enduring journey of continuous assistance spanning over 2-1/2 years, benefitting numerous individuals in our community who are in need.

The program starts every Saturday at around 10 am with a fresh hot cup of coffee or a cold drink of water while the rest of the team of volunteers get ready to serve.  Normally, serving and clean up is completed before 2 pm.  But with the additional number of guests currently, we are staying at Gore Park longer to make sure we try to accommodate everybody.  Unfortunately, they are frequently running out of supplies due to the rapid increase in the number of people. 

GPCO provides an atmosphere of community and they welcome guests from all walks of life with a SMILE.