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Coldest Night of the Year walk will benefit S.H.I.F.T.

February 2, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

If you are homeless and on the street during winter, the cold is your enemy and possibly a life-threatening situation.

The fourth annual Coldest Night of the Year (C.N.O.Y.) event will take place in Alliston on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Locally, Support and Hope for Individuals and Families Today (S.H.I.F.T.) hosts the event. It is currently in its sixth operating season. The organization’s goal is to support individuals and families in ‘making a shift’ in their circumstances by providing consistent trusting relationships, honest communication, and promoting participant choice and empowerment.

The organization provides safe, respectful, and welcoming overnight accommodation, meals, and supports to those experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness or food insecurity in South Simcoe. They focus primarily on the winter months.

They also provide access to basic needs, harm reduction supplies, hygiene supplies, food items, and connections to local services.

Since 2011, the national Coldest Night of the Year event has raised over $57 million in support of over 166 communities and charity partners serving families, youth, and adults experiencing homelessness, hurt, and hunger across the country.

Locally, $150,000 was raised to support programming, operational and administrative costs at S.H.I.F.T. This year, they have set the goal higher in hopes of raising $200,000 to help continue to fund programs and their new facility.

S.H.I.F.T. kicked off its C.N.O.Y. fundraising efforts in November. They recently moved to a temporary location at The Door Youth Centre in Alliston but are still searching for a permanent home.

During the Coldest Night of the Year event, tens of thousands of Canadians step outside the warmth and comfort of their own homes and walk in support of these programs. Being outside gives people the opportunity to understand what it’s like to be outside on a cold night with nowhere to go.

You can take part by registering to walk as a member of a team, a single person or create your own team and recruit members for your own personal network.

You can find out more by visiting the website at: www.shiftforgood.ca.

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