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‘Be the warmth:’ Your help is needed to keep homeless out of the cold

January 19, 2024

Posted on: January 19th, 2024. Posted by: Joseph Quigley, Original Article.

Inn From the Cold and Blue Door hosting annual Coldest Night of the Year fundraisers Feb. 24 in Newmarket and Richmond Hill

You can support the fight against homelessness in our communities by joining the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser Feb. 24.

Housing charities Inn From the Cold and Blue Door will be participating in the national event, in Newmarket and Richmond Hill respectively. The event represents one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for each organization. 

Blue Door CEO Michael Braithwaite said shelters and related programs are filling up with the cold weather arriving. 

“The need right now, the demand for availability, it’s just sad,” he said. “Blue Door, York Region, our partners, everyone is upping what they’re doing so no one has to stay out in the cold at any point.”

In Newmarket, Inn from the Cold will be the beneficiary, reaching about $33,000 to date toward its $90,000 goal as it builds toward a new facility.

Blue Door will be walking in Richmond Hill the same day and has raised more than $46,000 of a $150,000 goal. As of Jan. 18, Blue Door’s total ranks sixth in the country out of 191 events, while Inn From the Cold is 23rd.

“It just speaks to the commitment of the community,” Braithwaite said. “It feels pretty good that the community supports this in such a big way.”

“Let’s brave the chill together for a cause close to people’s hearts,” Inn from the Cold said on its social media. “Let’s be the warmth in someone’s cold night.”

Braithwaite often takes on a challenge as part of the annual fundraiser. This year, he will be starting his walk eight hours earlier and travelling over 32 kilometres, ending with the community walk to raise $10,000 individually.

“It just pushes a little extra, see if we can raise more funds, draw a little more attention to the event,” Braithwaite said. 

You can become a sponsor or sign up for the walk-through at and

In Newmarket, the event will begin at the Riverwalk Commons at 200 Doug Duncan Dr., while the Richmond Hill event will start at 8569 Bayview Ave. Both events will go from 4 to 7 p.m.

Braithwaite said it has been slower and tougher to raise funds this year and invited anyone interested to take part, whether as a volunteer or sponsor.

“We’d welcome your participation to be part of the solution,” he said. “This is an easy way to be part of the solution, so just come out and walk and raise a few dollars in doing so.”