Posted on: December 1st, 2022. By: Lisa Queen, yorkregion.com, Original Article.
People experiencing homelessness ‘disproportionately impacted’ by pandemic, according to Blue Door
Homelessness in York Region is often a hidden problem, but on any given night, about 500 people sleep in tents or cars, on someone’s couch or on the streets.
And the homelessness crisis in the region is getting worse.
As of Dec. 1, residents can register to participate in Blue Door’s Coldest Night of the Year, a fun, family-friendly fundraising walk inviting Canadians to step outside the warmth of their homes to shine a light of welcome, compassion and inclusion in their communities.
The event takes place Feb. 25 at 4 p.m. at Richmond Hill’s Toronto Montessori School lower campus at 8569 Bayview Ave.
“Individuals experiencing homelessness have been disproportionately impacted over the last few years as a result of the pandemic. Now more than ever, our most vulnerable are experiencing the impact of the last two years of COVID-19, the rising cost of living crisis and the recession on the horizon,” a statement from Blue Door said.
“Our community members are being forced to give up their homes and sleep out in the cold or in their cars; they are skipping meals to save money. There is simply not enough funding available for Blue Door’s life-saving programs, and (the community’s) support is needed now more than ever.”
As Blue Door’s annual signature fundraiser, money raised through the Coldest Night of the Year supports the organization’s Mosaic Interfaith Out of the Cold, a community-driven interfaith program, providing warm beds, meals, clothing, medical care, showers and more to youth, adults and older adults experiencing homelessness during the harsh Canadian winter months.
“While the government continues to play a big part in preventing and ending homelessness, so does our community.” Blue Door’s CEO, Michael Braithwaite, said.
“Let’s show the amazing strength of our community through this fun and impactful (Coldest Night of the Year) event.”
To register, donate, or learn more, visit cnoy.org/location/richmondhill.
Blue Door is the largest emergency housing provider in York Region.
The organization helps people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness attain and retain affordable housing and addresses the root causes of homelessness through a number of programs.