Gilles Chiasson didn’t know a thing about the craft of knitted and needlework when he decided to learn, but his reason for doing so is inspiring others to learn as well.
He knew what it felt like to homeless, but he says that for him, being homeless wasn’t about not having a job or not being able to pay bills. In his case, it was the lack of a connection to society around him. With no drive to retain employment, make meaningful relationships, or be a part of his community, he spent over a decade just couch-surfing and skating by where he could.
Eventually, he found meaningful work and was able to get a handle on his frustrating feelings after turning 30 and was able to build a life for himself. He worked, lived, and finally made his way into the world as a member of his community. After retiring, he wanted to do something to help the other homeless that he saw on the streets around him.
They weren’t there because they wanted to be, he said. They were there because they didn’t feel connected. In an effort to remind them that people still cared about them, he learned to knit.
The hope was that when they received a pair of socks made just for them, they could remember that they weren’t alone and that they weren’t invisible. He knew that they were alive, and he let them know he cared.
He founded a knitting group for others to learn to knit as well…and so far, over a dozen people have joined him!
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