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Taking Steps to End Homelessness — Coldest Night of the Year walk set for Saturday

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
February 15th, 2016

Saturday in Nelson more than 200 people are expected to participate in the second Coldest Night of the Year nation-wide walk. 

Participants will walk over the two, five or 10 kilometers courses to experience a hint of the challenges faced by those experiencing homelessness, while raising much needed monetary donations for the local Nelson CARES’ Room to Live Campaign,a renewal project for affordable housing at Ward Street Place. 

We are days away from this year’s walk and you can feel the energy building as the community continues to get behind this,” said Beth Seed, Event Coordinator in a media release.

“We are grateful to have so many teams, volunteers and sponsors again this year. There are over 100 cities participating across Canada and we are so proud that Nelson is one of them!”

Leading up to the walk on Baker Street people should keep their eyes and ears open for a pair of buskers wearing matching toques and singing for change. 

Dan MacLean and Stacy O’Brien, a couple of this year’s walkers, are busking on Baker Street to raise money for the upcoming walk.

“It’s been fun and people have been kind and generous. We even had some little kids stop and dance, which is heart-warming when the sidewalk is your stage!” laughed Stacy O’Brien.

“When we were originally searching for a place to live in Nelson, it was the same month that the Kerr apartment building burned down, which had a huge impact on the available housing options in town. So it’s obvious that the Room to Live campaign is meeting a pressing need in the community,” said MacLean.

The overall goal of the Room to Live Campaign (www.roomtolive.ca)  is to raise $690,000 to complete the project. Ward Street Place (567 Ward Street) is a 102-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. NCARES receives no public funding to operate the building and it serves the region’s most vulnerable citizens. 

There are over 30 teams already registered for this year’s walk, but it’s not too late to get involved or make a donation! 

The public is urged to bring family, friends and co-workers together to 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.  A

ll registered walkers will receive a free toque! Visit our website: www.coldestnightoftheyear.org/nelsonto register or donate. Contact Beth Seed, Event Coordinator for more information at beth@nelsoncares.ca or (250) 551-5092.

The walk is still looking for volunteers or people wanting to help.

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