The sixth annual Kamloops Coldest Night of the Year took place on Saturday Feb. 25 and is Canada’s unofficial walk for homelessness. The event was hosted by New Life Community Kamloops at Riverside Park and had more than 250 registered participants.
Carol Paulsen, the event director for Kamloops’ Coldest Night of the Year, said that this nationwide event starts an important conversation about homelessness.
“It’s a cross-Canada event that over 100 charities in Canada are involved in. The goal is to raise money for organizations that really work with the homeless, the destitute, the poor people of our cities,” Paulsen said.
The event is particularly important for Kamloops because of the support it provides to members of the community who might be down on their luck.
“They always need funds, so this is a really good time of year to be putting in a little bit extra,” Paulsen said.
The event reveals the challenges that many people experiencing homelessness may face during Canada’s freezing winters.
The funds raised from the event and the days surrounding go back to New Life Community Kamloops to help people in town. New Life accommodates those in need with amenities such as health services, residential programs and outreach centres.
“All the money that we raise goes into the New Life Community services and all of the stuff that they do,” Paulsen said.
Since the event started in 2011, it has raised over $12 million nationwide in communities across Canada.
“This year has been amazing, we’ve actually had a really, really good community response. We’ve almost reached our goal of $50,000, which we’ve never done,” Paulsen said.
This family-friendly walking fundraiser raises money for the homeless in over 100 participating communities across Canada.