News / Vancouver

North Vancouver company and VPD join forces to keep homeless caped this winter

A local outdoor clothing manufacturer is teaming up with Vancouver police to help ease the winter burdens of the city’s homeless one cape at a time.

North Vancouver’s Arc’teryx will be partnering with the VPD’s homeless outreach program to hand out hundreds of waterproof and insulated capes to the city’s most vulnerable.

In the past, Arc’teryx has distributed the capes — made from leftover fabrics and sewn by volunteer employees at the company’s Burnaby factory — through the Harvest Project in North Vancouver and the Harbour Lights and First United Church in Vancouver.

Joanne Mayzes, corporate social responsibility manager at Arc’teryx, said that the cape idea was a way to reduce the company’s carbon footprint as well as an opportunity to give back to the community.

In the last three years, she added, the company has given out more than 1,000 capes and this year will give 300 capes to the VPD to widen the distribution.

“Partnering with Arc’teryx means that we have hundreds of capes at our disposal in the backs of the patrol cars,” VPD’s homeless outreach co-ordinator Const. Jodyne Keller said Tuesday. “They can go directly into the hands of those who need them the most, those who are sleeping on the streets in the rain, the wind and the cold elements.”

The one-size-fits-all capes fasten with a drawstring and Velcro, come in different colours like red, green, turquoise and dark blue, are made to last more than a decade, and can be rolled out into a blanket and packed up into a bundle for easy carrying.

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