Homelessness can feel so foreign and distant, but if we slow down and take a deep look around, it can be shocking, frustrating, and shameful to see the reality we live in.
There are those who struggle every day—the recently-immigrated woman moving from hotel to hotel with her children, the man living with his dog outside the convenience store barely able to get a night’s rest, and the retired veteran with a baseball cap in front of him and only two nickels inside. And yet, in spite of all the hardships that they endure, not much seems to have been done, and passersby continue to turn a blind eye.
At Project Empathic, we want to change this. We feel that although homelessness is not an issue that can easily be addressed, it is one that we can work towards changing. Created by a team of young people empowered to make a difference in the face of rising apathy, we want to bring more attention to this societal issue, eliminating the stigma surrounding homelessness and uncovering eyes to the realities of our world.
Founded by our two executive directors, Janelle Tam and Kaitlyn Liu, and growing to encompass a team of twenty members, Project Empathic continues to teach elementary-aged students about homelessness and the importance of empathy while spreading kindness through cards made for those experiencing homelessness.
Change can only begin when we start caring, and here is a community filled with young people who care.
Our Action and Timeline
The Start: Sept-Oct 2021
Our team began our consultations and research for Project Empathic’s first workshop, Homelessness: The Importance of Caring.
Christmas Distribution: Dec 2021
We gathered 100 cards from elementary school students to distribute for Christmas.
Valentine’s Distribution: Feb 2022
Elementary school students created over 400 cards for Valentine’s Day for our team to distribute.
Greater Workshop Reach: May-June 2022
Project Empathic’s regular workshops resumed, reaching 100 more students.
Program Expansion: Sept 2022-June 2023
Between Sept 2022 to June 2023, Project Empathic ran dozens of workshops, distributed over a thousand cards in the Downtown Eastside, and expanded our team to 40 members.
First Workshop: Nov-Dec 2021
We initiated our program, partnering with a local elementary school to run our first workshop.
Expansion around Valentine’s: Jan-Feb 2022
Following the success of our pilot run, we expanded our work to partner with 14 elementary schools and childcare centers to deliver multiple workshops.
Team Expansion: March 2022
Due to Project Empathic's increased number of initiatives, our team expanded to include 13 high school and university students.
Workshop Team: Aug 2022
Our organization recruited a dedicated team of Workshop Program Facilitators to run our educational workshops in classrooms.
One-Year Hiatus: Sept 2023-Sept 2024
As many of our executives enter university, our organization will be going on a one-year hiatus as we focus on governance changes and organizational restructuring to assist with our expansion. We look forward to resuming our programs in September 2024!