On Saturday, Feb. 20, Nelson CARES Society is eager to see hundreds of community members participate in the second annual Coldest Night of the Year.
A walk for the homeless, hungry, and hurting, Coldest Night is an opportunity for the community to come together to raise awareness around homelessness. This 2/5/10 km non-competitive walk will have some rest stops along the way and a warm bowl of chili at the end. At the heart of the event, is recognizing the importance of sustainable, affordable living and working toward real change in Nelson to end homelessness. Proceeds from the event will go towards Nelson CARES’ Room to Live campaign, a renewal project for Ward St. Place.
“We aim to raise $30,000,” said event coordinator Beth Seed. “We live in a very active, generous community and anticipate seeing a great deal of people getting behind this event to help us reach our goal. It will be a cold wintry walk, and a good opportunity to think of others who don’t have a safe reliable roof over their head each night.”
Last year’s first Coldest Night was successful on many levels. “We saw over 350 members of the community take to the streets in support of the Room to Live campaign and together, we surpassed our goal. That’s pretty special in a small community like Nelson and we couldn’t be more proud,” said Seed.
The overall goal of the Room to Live Campaign is to raise another $250,000 to complete the project. Ward St.Place (567 Ward St.) is a 102-year-old building and one of the only low-income housing blocks in the region. It is home to people living in poverty and those who have escaped homelessness. Nelson CARES receives no public funding to operate the building and serves the region’s most vulnerable citizens.
“We feel honoured to have had such an incredible amount of support last year and we encourage local groups and individuals to join us again this year,” Seed said. “A stable roof over our head is often something we take for granted. Many of us are struggling to make ends meet and we can be only one illness or injury away from being able to keep our roof over our head.”
The funds raised from last years walk secured the restoration of two rooms at Ward St. Place.
Get your family, friends and co-workers together, build a team or walk on your own. There is a $25 registration fee, but if you raise $150 or more, that fee is waived. All registered walkers will receive a free toque. To registered or get involved as a volunteer or sponsor, visit coldestnightoftheyear.org/nelson or contact Seed at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-551-5092.