Held as a part of Canada’s National Walk for Homelessness, the Coldest Night of the Year walk by Our Place is set for Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.
Participating is as easy as gathering a team of friends or co-workers, registering on-line and joining other participants for a two, five or 10-kilometre walk. The majority of participants chose the scenic five-kilometre route last year, but all three routes will be available again this time around. Our Place is encouraging volunteers to step forward and act as route marshals.
“You never know what the weather will be like, but warm or cold, rain, snow or clear skies, it’s heartwarming to be out there,” said Our Place executive director Don Evans. “It’s about getting together with friends and family for some fresh air and exercise, joining our community and helping those less fortunate at the same time.”
The website to register and find out more about pledges is: https://cnoy.org/location/victoriapandora. In addition to raising much-needed funds for Our Place, this event offers participants a chance to meet some of the people that their donations support.
“We try to get as many people indoors as possible on the coldest nights, but even when our shelters are full there are still people left outside,” Evans says. “This walk allows the community to make a human connection with some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”
Our Place is a unique inner-city community centre serving Greater Victoria’s most vulnerable: working poor, impoverished elderly, mentally and physically challenged, addicted and the homeless. Individuals and businesses provide the majority of financial support for its programs and services.
Our Place provides over 1,200 meals per day, hot showers, education, job skills, free clothing, counseling and outreach services; plus 135 transitional housing units and 60 overnight shelter mats. Most importantly, it provides a sense of hope and belonging to our neighbours in need.