Homelessness was in the spotlight over the weekend as the Cranbrook community gathered for the annual Coldest Night of the Year walk on Saturday, raising $31,037.
CMHA Kootenays (Canadian Mental Health) hosted the Coldest Night of the Year walk, where 142 people participated. The money raised was significantly more than their $20,000 goal, as 25 teams hit the streets to raise awareness about homelessness in the community.
More: Coldest Night of Year Cranbrook (CNOY)
Carey Fraser, Executive Director of CMHA Kootenays said homeless is a complex issue that they hope to resolve.
“This is a difficult thing to be homeless and to have housing scarcity in your life,” Fraser told MyEastKootenayNow.com. “It’s hard to balance your mental health, it’s hard to find a job when you don’t have an address, it’s hard to keep everything in your life balanced when you’re struggling.”
Fraser said CMHA Kootenays has 29 different support arms at the Cranbrook branch to assist vulnerable or homeless individuals, as they look to reverse the homelessness issue.
“We have affordable housing and on top of that we have programs for seniors, we have Volunteer Kootenays, we’ve got the crisis line which runs 24/7/365, there’s always a volunteer to answer your call.”
The Crisis Line is 1-888-353-CARE (2273) and is open and available any time of the day for those in need.
The awareness and fundraising event comes weeks before Cranbrook undertakes an extended multi-day count of its homeless population. Cranbrook is one of two communities selected by the B.C. Government to undertake the multi-day count, in partnership with the Homelessness Services Association of BC and BC Housing.
More: Cranbrook Participating in Provincial Homeless Count (February 20, 2020)