It’s time to dig out the tent, roll up the sleeping bag and prepare to spend the night in LeBourdais Park.
The 4th Annual Spend a Night in the Cold, Oct. 14, is in conjunction with Homeless Action Week.
“It’s a province-wide opportunity to bring awareness and education to members of the province and this community on the extent of homelessness, the causes and solutions,” assistant executive director of Season’s House Jeana Moore said.
“Although it’s by no means the same as being homeless, spending a night in the cold gives people a chance to experience what it might feel like to be homeless.”
Activities are planned to add as much fun as possible to the experience including dinner in the park, entertainment with Jemma and Tim Reeves and Orange Years, two local youth musical groups and a soccer game organized by Mike Page. The soccer game sign up fee is a $5 donation and anyone wishing to play can call Season’s House, 250-992-0952.
Sleeping outside when it’s a cold October night isn’t for everyone and Moore said they’d still like the public to join them, possibly just for the dinner, however, for those planning on spending the whole night, Moore said although they appreciate people’s efforts to collect pledges, if that isn’t the plan, she asked they make a personal donation.
Pledges and donations are important as money raised is used for simple things like hygiene products and socks that most people take for granted.
“Every dollar helps,” she said.
There will also be prizes for the top pledge earner and the top youth pledge earner.
Community policing will be on site all night long to ensure security and the RCMP, who are fully supportive of the event, will have a presence.
Moore said despite the seriousness of the issue, it’s a fun evening.
“I look forward to this night all year long,” she said.
“It’s a chance to get together with the community, discuss a serious issue and bring awareness to the public in a fun way.
“Each participant must supply their own overnight equipment which adds to the authenticity of the experience.”