A former homeless man in Montreal has started a knitting group to help those without a consistent roof over their heads stay warm during the winter months.

Gilles Chiasson recently founded Charity through Knitting, a knitting group that produces everyday winter essentials like mittens, scarves and hats for the homeless. They also create sleeping mats that provide insulation from cold floors.

“(We’re) just trying to remind them that they're not forgotten,” Chiasson, told CTV News. “We know you're struggling. We're going to make something that’s handmade just for you.”

Chiasson knows what it’s like to live on the streets as he found himself sleeping on the sidewalks of Montreal when he was in his 20s.

“I didn't feel connected very well with the world around me,” he said. “Over the years, I began to realize a lot of that had to do with feeling a part of the community that I was in.”

According to the 2015 Montreal census, more than 3,000 people in the area are living on the streets. Chiasson hopes his program will help make people realize the homeless are people with needs just like everyone else.

“You probably struggled through something hard too and maybe you wouldn't go that route but it doesn't make you any less of a human being if you are down on the street,” he said.

With a report from CTV Montreal’s Vanessa Lee