A group of local citizens will go “homeless” for 24 hours starting on Thursday, Oct. 15 with a goal of raising $30,000 for the local Salvation Army.
Deb Lowell, public relations director for the agency, said the “24 Hours Homeless” event is aimed at increasing awareness of the challenges facing the people served by the Salvation Army.
Participants will check into the Sally Ann’s Centre of Hope – located on Gladys Avenue – at 6 p.m on Oct. 15.
Lowell said they will be processed into the shelter like anyone else accessing services, although they will spend the night in a different area.
The next morning, they will be given “case plans” and tasks to accomplish, such as applying for social assistance, speaking to a social worker or arranging outside accommodation.
“Our desire is to create an authentic experience for every individual,” Lowell said.
The group will meet that afternoon to de-brief and discuss what they learned.
Organizers hope participants are able to share with others the challenges that people can face and the assistance that is available.
“The awareness and understanding each of us gain through this valuable experience will only enhance our ability to make good decisions as we move forward together in the community,” she said.
So far, eight people have signed up for the fundraiser: Abbotsford Police Deputy Chief Dave Schmirler; Mark Warkentin, a board member with the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce; Marion Keys of the Abbotsford Hospice Society; Bev Hasenpflug of Quantum Properties; Tina Stewart of the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association; Kal Sidhu of FirstPage Marketing; Mike Welte of Farm Credit Canada; and Tracy McCarthy of Mission Community Services.
Participants have set up individual sponsorship accounts online at blackpress4good.com, with the proceeds donated to the Salvation Army.
Donations can be made by cheque to “Salvation Army Abbotsford” with “24 Hours Homeless” in the memo line.
To donate to one of the participants’ campaigns, add their name to the memo line. Cheques can then be given to the individual or mailed to the Salvation Army at: 34081 Gladys Ave., Abbotsford, V2S 2E8.
Donations can also be made by credit card by calling 604-852-9305.
Those interested in participating in the campaign are asked to contact Deb Lowell at 604-832-2218. For more information about the Centre of Hope, visit careandshare.ca.