On a cold, snowy Saturday night in February, Nelson and 113 other cities across Canada participated in this year’s Coldest Night of the Year Walk.
More than 400 community members walked to raise money for Nelson CARES’ Room to Live campaign and help take steps to end homelessness.
“We were hoping to raise $30,000 through this event and once again the people of Nelson have helped us exceed our goal through their support and generous fundraising efforts," said Ron Little, Chair of NCARES Board.
"The event results are in and we are so grateful to all of the walkers, sponsors, businesses and volunteers who raised a whopping $53,534."
This was the third year that Nelson CARES has hosted the event and this is the most money the community has raised in one night, enough to renovate and preserve three rooms at Ward Street Place.
In addition to the larger community effort, the Room to Live campaign received a very generous donation from Shambhala Music Festival for $45,000.
“When local businesses like Shambhala step up and make this kind of big-hearted donation, it really shows they are caring contributors to the community, who are paying attention to the needs of the community” stated Little.
Thanks to donations big and small, The Room to Live campaign is edging closer to its final goal, which is not only raising money, but also significantly improving the quality of affordable housing available in Nelson.
“Since January, we have raised enough money to renovate and preserve 6 rooms at Ward Street Place," said Jenny Robinson, Executive Director of Nelson CARES Society.,
"That means that six (6) people living in deep poverty in our community will have a safe and affordable home for years to come. To date we have renovated 28 rooms in the building and we only have four to go. This is remarkable, but the real achievement is that we are doing it together, as a community. Thank you!”
The overall goal of the Room to Live campaign is to raise the remaining $55,000 of the $2.9 million to complete the project. Ward Street Place (567 Ward St) is a 103-year old building and is 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.
“We started the Room to Live Campaign in November of 2014 asking the community to help us raise $690,000. We have raised $635,000 and it’s remarkable that $55,000 is now our goal for completing this project,” said Lisa McGeady, RTL Campaign Coordinator.
“We hope the community will continue to help us reach our goal by our celebration at the Capitol on November 3rd. Many thanks to everyone who has helped us get this far!”
To make a donation to the Room to Live campaign, please visit www.roomtolive.caor drop by the Nelson CARES main office at 521 Vernon Street.
Photo Caption: Movers and shakers in the Nelson CARES’ Room to Live campaign include from left, Renae Hering - Human Resources Assistant; Christa McDiarmid - Site Manager; Nicole Seaboyer - Human Resources Director; Jenny Robinson - ED Nelson CARES Society; Jim Bundschuh - Producer; Ron Little - Nelson CARES Society Board Chair; Lisa McGeady - Room to Live Campaign Coordinator; Allison Young - Finance Assistant and Jake Langmuir - Media & Marketing Coordinator. — Submitted photo