Icy December winds are whipping through Allan Gardens Park at Sherbourne and Gerrard. In front of the conservatory, Sigrid Kneve and a team of volunteers are handing out items from a pile of donated clothes and ladling hot chili into styrofoam bowls for homeless people in the neighbourhood.

“We’re here all winter, every Sunday,” says Kneve. She describes how the grassroots group of six Indigenous women first came together to provide harm-reduction services to street-involved people in one of the most desperate corridors of the city.

“It all started when somebody got sexually assaulted because she couldn’t get a shelter bed,” says Kneve.