Posted on: January 10th, 2024. Posted by: Lisa Queen yorkregion.com, Original Article.
‘Imagine if the only blanket you had was the fresh blanket of snow that piled on top of you as you tried to get some sleep’
Frigid temperatures are here, winter weather warnings are being issued — now, imagine being homeless and facing that.
Blue Door, York Region’s largest emergency housing provider, is holding its annual Coldest Night of the Year Walk on Feb. 24 to support York Region’s most vulnerable residents.
“Imagine if the only blanket you had was the fresh blanket of snow that piled on top of you as you tried to get some sleep. For too many people in York Region, this cold reality is the only one they know,” Michael Braithwaite, Blue Door’s CEO, said.
“Each year, we come together as a community for the Coldest Night of the Year walk, to march in solidarity in support of those experiencing homelessness, and to raise funds for life-saving Blue Door programs like Mosaic Interfaith Out of the Cold.”
This year, Braithwaite said he will be starting his own walk eight hours earlier “at the start of Yonge Street and walk over 32 kilometres in the cold, ending with our community walk, in an effort to raise $10,000.
“It’s only one day of discomfort and cold, but it could result in many days off the streets for so many.”
This winter, individuals experiencing homelessness need the community’s help more than ever, Braithwaite added.
For example, Blue Door’s Mosaic Interfaith Out of the Cold program opened in October 2023 for the season, a month earlier than in previous years, and has been operating at full capacity since.
Blue Door needs the community’s support, Braithwaite said.
Coldest Night of the Year, presented by Home Trust, is a fun, family-friendly annual fundraising walk that supports the organization’s many programs.
Blue Door hopes to raise $150,000.
There are many ways to become involved in the Coldest Night of the Year and support Blue Door’s programs:
• Become a sponsor: Opportunities range from $500 to $7,500.
• Sign up to walk: Register a team and recruit team members to walk and fundraise. Registration is free.
• Spread the word: The best way to get the word out is through community promotion. Consider promoting the event throughout your network. Looking for promotion materials? Please contact Blue Door’s resource development co-ordinator at Andrew.F@bluedoor.ca
• To register, donate or learn more about Coldest Night of the Year, visit cnoy.org/location/richmondhill
Founded in 1982, Blue Door works to ensure everyone has safe, affordable, and supportive housing.
It provides support to people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness to attain and retain affordable housing.
Blue Door addresses the root causes of homelessness through emergency and seasonal housing programs, transitional/supportive housing, health supports, and Construct — A Social Enterprise by Blue Door.
Coldest Night of the Year is presented by Home Trust. The lead sponsor is Descon Conveyer and the supporting sponsor is Bingo World.