EDITORIAL: Connect with Victoria’s homeless community on the Coldest Night of the Year

Our Place taking part in national event for the first time

Imagine what it would be like to spend a night outdoors during one of the coldest stretches of winter in Victoria.

Our Place and other downtown service providers work regularly to give comfort and offer alternatives to people in that situation during winter and and throughout the year. This Friday, Our Place is inviting the public to an information session (4 p.m. in the chapel at 919 Pandora Ave.) about a unique event that will give people a taste of what it’s like to not have a roof over one’s head.

The Coldest Night of the Year happens the evening of Feb. 24 and is part of Canada’s National Walk for Homelessness. People are encouraged to make teams with family and friends for this fundraiser, which Our Place is taking part in for the first time.

Participants can take their pick of distance, two, five or 10 kilometres. For those who sleep rough outdoors, those kinds of numbers are typical in the overnight hours: many sleep during the day when more people are around, as a way to avoid sleeping overnight when the risk to their personal safety, or of losing belongings, is greater.

Opportunities will exist on the evening of the walks for participants to connect with members of the homeless community who stand to benefit from funds raised.

Our Place executive director Don Evans, along with his staff and other Extreme Weather Protocol shelter workers around downtown Victoria, know that despite best efforts to gather people in who might otherwise sleep outdoors, some individuals fall through the cracks. While some of those folks have personal issues that make staying inside in close proximity to others a serious challenge, most would appreciate a warm, safe place to sleep rather than braving the cold.

So give some thought over the holiday season to participating in this event, maybe when you’re snug and cozy at home some cold evening. Walking a kilometre in a homeless person’s shoes might be a good reminder why it’s important to support such causes.

Just Posted

Saanich rides ahead with Active Transportation Plan

Saanich plans to double the share of all trips made by active transportation by 2050.

Suman, mom of Reena Virk, has died

Mother of 1997 murder victim became an activist against bullying

CRD tightens leash on dog walkers

Five regional parks in Sooke now have new restrictions on dogs

Sausage Fest runs June 23 from noon to 9 p.m. at Willows Beach Park

Grab a sausage and drink and enjoy live music or watch your… Continue reading

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

U.S. border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Several Republicans to break from President Donald Trump amid boarder separation issues

AFN cheif accused of being too close to Trudeau

Perry Bellegarde insists he is not that close to the Liberals as elections looms

Three injured after industrial explosion in Newfoundland

The roof of the warehouse was blown off in the explosion near St. John’s

Ottawa Senators trade Mike Hoffman, less than a week after allegations involving partner

Following the trade Senators make no mention of allegations against Hoffman’s partner

Drive-thru voting in Saanich crashes over environmental concerns

Environmental concerns over climate change could stall drive-thru voting in Saanich. Angila… Continue reading

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Most Read