‘Coldest Night of the Year Walk’

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Kate Nott

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On Saturday February 24, Nelson CARES Society is hosting the 4th annual ‘Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) Walk.’

“Over the past three years, the community has shown tremendous support with over 400 people walking with us to raise awareness about homelessness and funds for Nelson CARES ‘Room to Live’ campaign,” CNOY Team & Walker Recruiter, Kate Nott said. “We’d love to see hundreds of people walk with us again this year!”

This 2/5/10 km non-competitive walk will kick off at Central School at 4:30 pm. Expect rest stops along the way and a warm bowl of chili served up at the Nelson United Church to celebrate completion. At the heart of CNOY, is recognizing the importance of sustainable, affordable living and working toward real change in Nelson to end homelessness.

In 2017, the ‘Coldest Night of the Year WALK’ took place in 80 locations across Canada. Nelson was ranked 25th out of 80 communities for overall fundraising, 7th for the most walkers and 11th for the number of teams. Last year, fundraising topped the goal of $30,000 set with $53,534 raised, enough to renovate and preserve three rooms at Ward Street Place. Ward Street Place is a 103 year old building that is one of the only low-income housing blocks in the region, home to people living in poverty and those who have escaped homelessness.

“Each year, funds have been raised over and above the set goal,” Lisa McGeady, CNOY Event Coordinator. “The generosity of the walkers, donors, volunteers, sponsors and all involved is the reason for the great success! We are so proud of how much our community has given and continues to give.”

“This year, the fundraising focus shifts to supporting individuals with the Ready for Home,” says Ron Little, Nelson CARES Board Chair. “At Nelson CARES we reach out to support the most vulnerable people in the community,” he says. “One of our goals is the preservation, maintenance and development of affordable housing in Nelson. The focus of the last three CNOY walks was the refurbishment of our downtown affordable housing building, Ward Street Place.”

The Ready for Home program provides supports to homeless individuals ready for housing, individuals newly housed and those at risk of losing their housing. At the core of Ready for Home is a paid staff member who works one-on-one with individuals to find housing, to transition into affordable housing and to sustain them in their existing accommodations. This personal support is crucial in stopping the cycle of chronic homelessness that traps many people.

Visit www.cnoy.org/location/nelson to register to walk, volunteer or to make a donation. Individual walkers are welcome to join a team. Contact Kate Nott at CNOY@nelsoncares.ca or 250-551-0417 for more information.

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