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

Greater Victoria writer releases first novel inspired by U.S. school shootings

Dear Mr. President tells thought provoking story of victims left behind

Saanich mayor joins fight to protect local wildlife from rat poisoning after second owl dies

Mayor Fred Haynes to meet with provincial, federal pest control industry representatives

Sidney fire responds to fewer but more severe calls during pandemic

Rise in severity linked to changes in routine during COVID-19 pandemic

Saanich police see spike in excessive speeding compared to previous years

Nearly 100 excessive speeders caught since January 2020

Colwood branch drop-off to continue throughout summer

COVID-19 safety measures remain in place

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

Most Read