A unique fundraising experience to benefit the Loaves and Fishes Benevolent Society is slated for this weekend.
Homeless for a Night runs June 23 from the Loaves and Fishes facility, which is located at 6002 – 54 Ave. Those signing up will spend an afternoon and one night experiencing what it’s like to be new and homeless in the City. Participants are asked to raise support via pledges.
Halina Jarvis, executive director at Loaves and Fishes, said there is still lots of room for folks to join the fundraiser, which promises to be a unique and enlightening experience.
“People are getting really excited about doing this and getting those big sponsor numbers,” she said, adding the plan is to make Homeless for a Night an annual fundraising event. Funds raised will go to support ongoing operations at Loaves and Fishes.
“We’ll be meeting at Loaves and Fishes in the morning, and we’ll kick off the event from here.”
From there, participants will be spending several hours in the downtown area. The only cash they will be able to have onhand will be a toonie, she said.
“By 5 p.m. they need to be back here.” But the hours prior to that, they will have to pan handle to get enough money for food and drinks.
Through the night, participants will be sleeping on a mat at Loaves and Fishes. For those who raise $1,000 they get to sleep in a bed in ‘Holiday Inn Haven’, a room being furnished at Loaves and Fishes by the Holiday Inn on 67th Street.
“Besides being a fundraiser, we want to give folks an idea of what it feels like to get off a bus, and you don’t know anyone. You don’t know where the facilities are, you don’t know where the agencies are. You’re homeless with a toonie in your pocket – what do you do?”
The following morning, there will be an opportunity for them to have breakfast and share their experiences. “We’d like to get some feedback on that.”
Meanwhile, the hours for Loaves and Fishes are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. They are closed on Sundays.
For Jarvis, her job offers fulfillment on a daily basis.
“We’re able to step in and help, and that gives you the impetus to go farther.”
For more information about the Homeless for a Night fundraiser, call Halina or Nadine at 403-347-1844 or email email@example.com.