The 6thannual Comox Valley Coldest Night of the year event is going to look a whole lot different next year. From February 12-21, 2021, people from across the Comox Valley are invited to walk apart but continue working together to help put an end to homelessness in our community.
Comox Valley Coldest Night of the Year is a fun, family-friendly event designed to raise awareness and funds to support people in our community who are experiencing homelessness and living in poverty. Hosted in partnership by the Comox Valley Transition Society (CVTS) and Dawn to Dawn: Action on Homelessness Society (Dawn to Dawn), the 2021 annual winter walk-a-thon will take place over a ten-day period. The goal is to raise $121,000 in 2021.
“Next year, people can walk where they want, when they want, with whomever they want, and however they want,” says Richard Clarke, Director, Dawn to Dawn. “We did not want to cancel the event because of the pandemic, and we have planned for a COVID-friendly option that allows everyone to participate without putting themselves at risk. We have three proposed walking routes in Comox, in Cumberland and Courtenay, but people can walk wherever they would like at a time that is convenient to them. You can even walk on your treadmill at home if you like.”
For the past five years, hundreds of people from the Comox Valley have come out to support this event by walking, donating or volunteering. Together, the community has raised almost $400,000 to help fund programs and services that support people living unsheltered and struggling through poverty. Last year, money raised from the event helped CVTS and Dawn To Dawn to support the Connect Warming Centre, a drop-in centre where people can get out of the cold, wet weather, get a warm drink and a snack, and where they are connected to other community services.
“This event is more important than ever and essential to the well-being of the Comox Valley,” says Heather Ney, CVTS Executive Director. “Since 2018, there has been an almost 13% increase in the number of people living without a home in our community. There are more women, more youth, and more seniors living unsheltered than ever before, and the pandemic is only making matters worse for people who were already struggling to make ends meet. Money raised from this event means we are able to provide more services and more support to those people who are hungry, hurting, or experiencing homelessness across the Comox Valley.”
For more information, to register or to donate, please visit https://cnoy.org/location/comoxvalley.