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.

Our PlacePoverty

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke RCMP searching for two people, reported missing on Sept. 10

Alannah Brooke Logan, 20, and Beau Richard Santuccione, 32, last seen on Otter Point Road

New branch of Royal BC Museum to be built in Colwood

New faclity in the Royal Bay development will house collections, archives and research department

Victoria man plans 30-hour walk to raise funds for vulnerable youth

Take a Hike engages youth in intensive, clinical counselling and outdoor experiential learning

Opponent of proposed Sidney cannabis store calls on councillors to heed health authority advice

Council to consider revised application from Happy Buddha Cannabis on Sept. 28

Metchosin inmate sentenced to 12 months in jail for escaping custody

Sentence to be served concurrent to a life sentence he was already serving

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read