There are a growing number of locals, both women and men, who have no place to live.
They are homeless.
And this very sad plight is becoming more visible each day. To close your eyes to it is to close your eyes to reality.
Many ask how they can help get these vulnerable people off the streets - now there’s a tangible way.
Coming up Feb. 20 is a fundraiser called Coldest Night of the Year. All proceeds will be directed into Getting to Home, a local program aimed at finding viable and sustainable solutions to address homelessness in the Greater Trail community.
There’s plenty of options for the event - you can sign up as a team leader and set a fundraising goal. Or you can simply donate to a team. Participants can take part in a real-time walk that day (staggered times and route yet to be announced) or take a virtual walk in their own home.
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The point is that all money raised stays local to support Getting to Home, and its frontline workers who connect with homeless individuals to help find them a place to live or they connect with those at-risk of becoming homeless.
The frontline workers generally support up to 100 people each year.
The individuals they help are of all ages. Of late, has been an increase in seniors that are homeless or at-risk of losing the roof over their head and there’s been an uptick in transitioning youth who are homeless.
But why is the homeless situation in Trail becoming more dire? What’s going on?
“There is a huge shortage of rental units in Trail and the rent increases have limited the options,” says frontline worker Sheila Adcock, from Career Development Services.
“The variety of housing needs are not being met at this time. For example, seniors, and supportive housing. Although we are working on exploring options and community needs, [the fact is] building new units does not work fast.”
Adcock says Getting to Home is in huge need for financial backing because some of the past funding options are not available past March. And, of course, the pandemic has quashed annual fundraising initiatives that have helped keep this resource afloat.
“With the increasing need to have outreach workers out in the community assisting the most vulnerable, now is the time we are asking the community to come together to help,” she explained.
“I know a lot of people are asking how they can become involved and support the most vulnerable citizens in the community and this is a great opportunity to feel good about being a part of the solution and encouraging others as well.”
To register for Coldest Night of the Year visit: https://cnoy.org.
If you have questions or would like to chat further about Coldest Night of The Year please contact event directors: Sheila Adcock at 250.364.1104 or email Sheila.email@example.com; and Kierra Doherty, 250.921.5099, or email Kierra.firstname.lastname@example.org.
“If a team wants to do their own virtual walk, they can do their own in February. But teams can also connect with us to do the in-person staggered social distancing walk on Feb. 20,” Adcock said.
“We will not be hosting a big gathering due to restrictions, but we will have prizes and hand outs for those that come in person.”