It’s been a busy year for the Yo Mobile, the bus that feeds and helps the homeless and hungry in Timmins each winter.

The non-profit charitable organization served 7,731 people this season, a number that is much higher than past seasons.

Eight people the Yo Mobile has served are now no longer homeless, a small victory for a bleak situation.

“They’re off the streets,” said Huguette Hanna, who works with the Yo Mobile Volunteers, runs the Facebook page and does work with the treasury, “so they’re no longer sleeping in alleys. They’re no longer sleeping in the bush in a tent or anything like that. They have their own place. So they have money to live and they’re living there.”

With the good news comes the bad. Though eight people are no longer on the streets, twelve people that were served by the Yo Mobile are no longer with us. The circumstances surrounding the deaths vary, but the reality that some homeless die each year is inevitable.

“The twelve people who are no longer with us, circumstances have it that every year some of them will die,” said Hanna, “because they are homeless, because they have nowhere to go. […] These are individuals who would come to the bus every weekend for food. And something’s happened, either being out in the cold for too long, or overdose or those circumstances when someone is homeless. And their life was taken.”

Hanna said she has noticed a rise in the number of people the Yo Mobile serves every year.

“For the rising in numbers, for the most part, from the beginning to now, there is quite a difference,” she said. “Last year, I believe, there was a little over 6,000. And this year 7,731. Within a month we had almost doubled in that one month when we first started.”

Hanna says the reason for the steady rise in numbers is clear.

“The cost of living,” she said, “the cost of living is completely ridiculous for someone who isn’t working or is working a minimum wage job. Because we do have individuals who come to eat because they don’t have enough money to eat. So they have their own apartments and such, but they don’t have enough food so they come every weekend so they can get enough food.”

As the Yo Mobile packs up for another summer, they continue their work and continue to accept donations. They accept monetary donations, gas cards, or people are welcome to go to Martin Fuels to give money for gas as that’s where they get it.

Grocery cards help too. The Community Living Day program helps make sandwiches every Friday for the Yo Mobile when it’s in operation. So donating grocery cards helps make that easier.

The Yo Mobile also appreciates donations for hygiene kits. Products like shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap are put together by the Cochrane-Temiskaming Resource Centre to make kits for those who need them.

One thing the Yo Mobile also needs is an accountant. Since becoming a registered non-profit charity organization, the Yo Mobile is in need of an accountant to take care of funds. The position would be paid, and staff are looking for anyone who has worked with charitable organizations before and can do the books.

Anyone interested in making a donation can message staff through their Facebook page or send them an email at

The Yo Mobile will be operating again sometime in October, and those interested in volunteering can check the Facebook page in September. Spots fill up fast.

As always, the staff who run the Yo Mobile are thankful for those who donate, volunteer and help them to help those who need it most.

“We’d like to say thank you to all community partners who have helped us,” said Hanna, “with either the sandwiches or the hygiene kits. Also everyone who’s donated and everyone who’s donated their time to us. We very much appreciate it. The Yo Mobile wouldn’t function without all of these people.”

Filed under: Local News