Approximately 25 people spent Friday night and Saturday morning by the Victoria Street Bridge to raise awareness and cash for the Getting to Home program.

Money raised to eliminate homelessness in Greater Trail

Event could expand to other communities next year.

The money is still coming in, but so far, the Coins for Change fundraiser has brought in almost $4,000 to end homelessness in Greater Trail.

The Victoria Street Bridge was the site where 25 people gathered Friday night in downtown Trail to sleep under the stars and raise awareness and cash for the area’s Getting to Home program.

Sheila Adcock, the event’s organizer from the city’s Career Development Services (CDS) said over one hundred community members stopped by during the event in a show of support and have committed to dropping off donations this week, including the Warfield Boy Scout troops who collected pledges and spent Friday night camping out at Haley Park.

Other than being sprinkled by a downpour during Saturday’s wee hours, Adcock said everyone who stayed the night, woke to a beautiful sunny morning.

“It was a perfect evening and not too cold,” she noted.

“But next year we will make sure that we ask in advance to have the sprinklers shut off,” Adcock chuckled. “Some people had a rude awakening at about 1 a.m. when they all went off and doused them.”

The success of the fundraiser already has her thinking about making Coins for Change an annual event that will reach outside the Greater Trail boundaries.

“We are really excited,” she said.

“We’ve been approached by Castlegar representatives to say they would like to make it a tri-city challenge between Trail, Castlegar and Nelson next year.”

The Getting to Home initiative began two years ago as a joint venture between CDS and the Skills Centre with a mandate to end homelessness in the region.

At the time, 28 people were on the roster in need of assistance, but by the end of June this year, the program has helped 163 individuals from Rossland through to Fruitvale find a place to call home.

Single mothers, seniors on the verge of losing housing, youth transitioning out of foster care, brain injury clients and people struggling with mental health or drug and alcohol issues have all found housing through “The Homeless are Here if You Choose to Look” project.

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