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October 27, 2017 6:44 pm

Walk for Homelessness Draws “Amazing” Response

Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 6:59 AM

A little snow didn’t deter the supporters of the first Coldest Night of the Year walk in Prince George Saturday. Photos 250 News

Prince George, B.C. – The turnout for the local Coldest Night of the Year walk, Canada’s unofficial Walk for Homelessness, was excellent.  The fact this was the very first year the walk has been held in Prince George made the turnout nothing less than phenomenal.

The Coldest Night of the Year is a family-friendly walking event that raises funds for the hungry, homeless and hurting right across Canada.  It is operated by Blue Sea Philanthropy, a CRA-registered charity with its home office in Kitchener, Ontario.   Each walk is operated by a local, community-based registered charity.  Walks in Canadian communities have raised over $12 million since 2011.

Saturday evening’s inaugural walk in Prince George was co-hosted and organized by AWAC and St. Giles Presbyterian Church.  AWAC Director Connie Abe says “Elda (Elda Egan, event co-director at St. Giles) had contacted me because she was down in Vancouver last year and Vancouver had a Coldest Night of the Year walk that she participated in.  And so this year she thought it would be a fantastic idea to get it happening in Prince George.”

“She heard of our Housing First program so she contacted me to see if we wanted to band together to create the event, and that’s how it happened, we hooked up and got the ball rolling.”  And Abe says it all came together in a very short period of time.  “Honestly, we started mid-December.  She contacted me mid-December and from there on it was, o.k. let’s do it.  So it came together quickly.”

And it certainly proved very successful.  A total of 159 walkers and 20-plus teams took part, raising a little over $27,000, just below the fundraising goal of $28,000.

Abe says she was astounded by the turnout on Saturday.  “I’m absolutely amazed,” she says “I’m amazed and just grateful for everybody that’s come out to show their support.”  She says word about the event was spread “through social media, through talking to friends, other agencies, word of mouth….just letting people know that this is happening.  That’s how we got it out.”

As noted earlier the Coldest Night of the Year walks across the country fall under the auspices of Blue Sea Philanthropy. Walks were held in 113 locations on Saturday and they involved:

18,229 walkers

3051 teams

3,584 volunteers

66,392 donors

1,044 sponsors

The national fundraising goal was $4 million and $4,021,704 was raised, including $459,167 on Saturday alone.

Connie Abe says the money raised here, as at walk locations across the country, “goes to the organization called the Coldest Night of the Year” and then they distribute it to the selected hosts of the walk.  So they distribute it to my agency, AWAC, as well as St. Giles Presbyterian Church.”

She says the funds raised are sent to the head office in Ontario and they distribute it back here “because they’re the ones that issue all the tax receipts.”

Abe says “30 % (of monies raised) goes to the agency and then the rest is distributed to the agencies that are hosting it (the walk).  So 30% goes to the agency and 70 % comes back.”

Just to clarify Elda Egan says “Coldest Night of the Year is run by Blue Sea Philanthropy, it’s a charitable organization, so they cover all the overhead but they’re not making a profit.  And so then all of the money, other than any of the overhead, stays in the local community.”  She adds “and it depends how much money is raised, too.  If more money is raised then they keep less.  All they’re doing is covering the overhead.”

She says the 70 percent which comes back to Prince George “is split 75% AWAC to this year, 25% to St. Giles Benevolent Fund.”

Asked if the second Coldest Night of the Year walk for the homeless and hungry will be held next year Connie Abe says “oh absolutely.  It was a huge success and given the short time we had for preparation this year, it can only mean that next year’s walk will be even more successful.”


This is why I contribute directly to groups in PG. Donate a 100 bucks so that 70 can be used locally because it costs 30% to get a tax receipt.

159 walkers out of roughly a population of 70,000 in PG is not great numbers of support……..

It was the first time, so 159 isn’t bad! I doubt they will get 10 next year though, now that folks know how much money actually stays here!

So out of $27,000 raised $8,100 leaves PG to pay for a head office in Ontario! More importantly out of $4,000,000 raised $1,200,000 goes to the head office in Ontario. Just felt some discomfort in my gut!

Out of 159 people that walked how many homeless participated in the walk ?

    They were busy being homeless! Libs enraged you even question the work ethic of the homeless!!!!

    How Dare You??!! LOL!

They didn’t want homeless people involved, hence the $25.00 registration fee! The more I think about this the more it starts to look like a scam!

They didn’t want homeless people involved, hence the $25.00 registration fee!

Oops double post. My bad

Probably no homeless participation due to laziness, watching tv and generally doing nothing! Granted there are legitimate cases out there, but there are a multitude of services available for the ones that are genuine. As for the registration fee, money going back east…… This is a crock!! Why did these people sign up for this? If they believe in this cause that strong take a couple of homeless people home with you, then I will applaud your stance!

    Lien do you actually read what you write before you hit “Post Comment”?

      Yes, I wondered about that, too, NMG. How does someone who’s homeless watch tv?

      My apologies for the scam piece, jumped the gun there. But time and time again I will stand by my belief that society has created a lot of their own problems due to empathy shown too much of the time for the homelessness situation. Take a look throughout BC at the Homeless camps and the toxic wastelands and messes they leave behind. Responsibility is sadly lacking due to other people picking up after them. I have definitely no problem with the cases of where people fall on hard times, but I do have issues with the young, irresponsible people who figure it is their right to show no initiative whatsoever. I will continue to defend myself on this issue. I come from a background where I have dealt with a lot of the homelessness, so I feel I have a good view. And yes I do volunteer my time to a well known institution in PG, so I am not totally heartless! LOL. P. S. I re-read this and I think it looks pretty darn good.

      “Society” has created a lot of problems that greatly exacerbate the homeless situation. For instance, where we are, it’s okay for otherwise homeless people to live in a camper or travel trailer in a ghetto of a campsite at around $ 400 a month, well out of sight and out of mind of those of us more fortunate, but they can’t live in a travel trailer on their own property while they try to accumulate enough money to build a house.

      And then if they were able to accumulate enough to do that, ‘society’ forces them to build a house to standards they can’t afford. Without going into debt, which many simply haven’t got sufficient incomes to be able to do. Gone are the days when many people ‘paid as they went’, framing up a house on their own property, moving in, and finishing it off as their finances allowed. These weren’t fancy homes by today’s standards, but they provided adequate shelter without financially breaking their occupants. Many of my relatives got their start that way, and would never have been able to advance if they hadn’t.

      But try to do something like that now. ‘Society’ won’t permit it. You need an Occupancy Permit. Which you don’t get til your abode is fully finished. And when it is, you’re in debt up to your eyeballs , or beyond, and only a few missed mortgage payments away from losing the whole thing. Which wasn’t really “yours” anyway.

    Your comments are so stupid but incredibly hilarious, especially that one about the homeless watching TV. Thanks for the laugh.

I take back my comment on this being a scam! I took a look at Blue Seas financial statements and they seem to be a small business with tax free status! They do have a budget over a million a year with staffing and other office needs! Of note is the $114,000 they pay in bank fees. Money that goes back and forth across the country instead of to the charity it was intended for. I stand by my first post. Donate locally and directly if you want to your money going to the cause you intended it to go to!

    Cougs, Gopg came through in the previous story with the financials and listed it.
    Local Salvation Army is our best bet for donating locally and I may be wrong, but have never heard of another religious organization which does so much for poor people locally.

The efforts to raise money here was good but it will not last long to feed the hungry and homeless. Realistically the numbers of people who participated in the night walk was very low. Why should the monies donated be sent to Ontario ? There needs to be an organization to teach these people how to find employment, employment will not come to them as anyone else. Giving the homeless a “free check” of income does not solve the problem. Many of those who are homeless still choose NOT work.
Again life is full of choices………

    A lot of you fatted Cons posting here need to lose your jobs, so you can show all the “lazy” welfare recipients and homeless people how easy it is to get another one.

    Again life is full of choices……… So very true.

Money sent to Ontario? Registration fee? Just organize a walk here, donate money, food clothes locally, no middleman. How much do the people running this charity make? It may be a good charity but donating here directly no middleman fees.

Speaking of fees, Greenpeace, did you people now the top people in that outfit make over 500 grand a year. Hey its all about saving the world, right.

Not sure how to read your post socredible! Lots of people want to live outside of societies rules and lots fall into the homeless category. You say they can’t afford to live in society and I say they don’t want to! Not all of course! Correct me if I’m wrong.

    No, you’re not wrong at all, cougs79. But we tend to focus on THAT one segment of the homeless, the ‘freeloaders’, as many would call them, to the exclusion of all others. And there ARE others, and they do work, and try to pay their own way, but ‘society’ keeps limiting their abilities to do just that. By imposing more and more well-intentioned rules and regulations without ever costing them out in regards to the overall effects on those regulated, or their ability to afford them.

I agree with most of the comments. Too many unanswered questions such as staffing levels at the Ontario office. How many are employed and what are their wages? Have they simply created jobs for themselves? Not that theres anything wrong with having jobs. The toques, (where are they from and who if anyone is profiting)? Keep it local. We all ready have food drives, Superstore and Save on have bins for food donations year round. Prince George people are very generous when it comes to giving. This shows by looking at the amount of food in Superstores bins and year round donations at other locations.

Homelessness will always be a mixed bag. Everyone has a story. I will always prefer to stay local.

Welfare and homelessness should not be a continuous lifestyle. This is a rich country and has many opportunities. Immigrants come to Canada, are willing to work and find these opportunities…..

    It is my understanding that many of the immigrants that have come to Canada in the last year and are still unable to find employment. Time to start paying a living wage.

      How does paying a living wage have any bearing on immigrants finding work? Unless you are saying they are turning down work because it doesn’t pay enough. Or are they two separate topics altogether, and if they are the question becomes how does paying a living wage increase work opportunities?

    I call BS on your cute little Immigrant fairy tale. I can tell you the Sikh’s etc come here and work their asses off, but the Syrians are a joke. They were paraded around our plant, with job offers , 12 of them refused jobs because they were happier on welfare. BTW they all had 600$ winter jackets and designer jeans.

    Ever see a Syrian with a job in PG? Nope.

      Tell it like it is, I appreciate that! Guaranteed there will be the liberalists and social workers that will take exception to this! Well done! If ‘oldman1’ wants to pay them a living wage take it out of his own pocket! I am retired and I worked hard for what I have! I get mighty peeved to see it given away to ‘people’ who prefer to protest, picket, and do absolutely nothing except whine and snivel, to be an anchor to society!!

      Maybe they were Doctors and were promised employment when they came to Canada. What was your job offer? Shovel snow?

      I think your entire comment is BS.


      Seriously, you should try engaging your brain before posting the drivel that you write.

      I wonder if someone at 250news can give us a determination of what “hate speech” is? Re-reading isthisreallife’s comment, he seems to come damn close to what ever that definition of hate speech may be!

      Haha, some of us have experienced it first hand, doesn’t appear you have.
      BH, hate speech is calling people psychopaths, members of KKK, remember?

      Griz, I can’t help it if you cannot make the distinction between hating someone because of their ethnicity or religion, or me call out some on here who would crap all over overdose victims and their families.

      Now we see the same low lifes, crapping all over the homeless and poor, so what does that say about you and them?

    Once again, immigrants that come to Canada are often given the “blind eye” by authorities in regards to their living conditions, because to impose the same rules on them that Canadians are subject to might be called ‘racist’. So we see instance of single-family housing being occupied by far more than one single family.

    This also often happens in regards to their working conditions. Where payments of wages in cash “under the table”, when they work for businesses owned by former fellow countrymen, and sans any regular employer/ employee deductions levied on Canadian employers and employees is more widespread than imagined.

    This isn’t something limited to immigrants of ‘color’ ~ it’s something that’s gone on for a very long time across all segments of immigrants fleeing their former homelands because of economic circumstances.

Typical righties, whine and complain out our homeless and poor, but give our shoddy health care a pass, because it’s this Libtard government’s fault!

After complaining about our poor and homeless what’s next? Beat up a disabled kid for his lunch money?

BH This has nothing to do with healthcare…….. Typical socialist or lefties would give everything away free to those who do not work.
What about the people/taxpayers who actually work and contribute to this society/country ? Where does the money the money come from………
Tell me BH…….

    Our shoddy health care is under the Radiology story, which all the righties are giving a wide berth today, because they can’t defend our incompetent BC Liberal government on it. Most of the homeless have mental health issues and cannot function properly in society, to infer they are lazy and freeloaders, is a false stereotype.

    No one wakes up in the morning and says; “I think I want to be a homeless person.”

    Picking on the most vulnerable in our society seems to be a favourite pastime for the rightie crowd on here!

      You know, BH, if you’re going to keep on like this you should submit a bill to the BC Liberal Party for all your efforts in getting them re-elected come May. You have to be one of their greatest assets in accomplishing just that.

So questioning the wasteful way the 30% of donations were handled and saying to support local charities is beating up the homeless now! Huh

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with supporting local charities. In fact, it’s commendable. That’s a no brainer.

    Now, even if that 70% number is accurate, it means that almost $20K was raised for local causes, money that quite possibly wouldn’t have been raised had this walk not been organized. Is it not a good news story that this money was raised and that almost 159 people made the effort to come out and support the event?

    Apparently not. Instead, we have people complaining about how their imaginary donations would’ve been allocated had they actually made them (I’m assuming the folks responding here didn’t give a cent) and commenting on how homeless people are hanging out watching TV, and generally being homeless because of they are too lazy to not be.

    The amount of ignorance and just plan immaturity being displayed is striking.

      Same with the sanctimony.

I re read the article from yesterday on the walk. No where in the article did it say 30% was going to a head office in Ontario! The actual event was a great news story, but I wonder how some folks feel about the $ going to pay wages in Ontario instead of going to charity.

Good on them for posting the breakdown on here.

slinky –paying a living wage would increase work opportunities. This is how. It would be nice to own a phone and a vehicle to get to work when you are called. Can you purchase these items and buy insurance on min wage? Oh yes we have rent, food and clothing also to pay and the list goes on.

    I know people on disability with phones and vehicles, those without cars all have phones and bus passes and disability is less than minimum wage

Homeless deaths spiked 70% in 2014. Could have been the start of the Fentanyl overdose crisis that added to the number of deaths. What a province we live in; people literally dying on our streets!

ht tp://www.vancitybuzz.com/2016/03/homeless-death-bc-megaphone-report/

Hey I have an idea, lets lick on these poor people, see if that changes anything!

    Obviously I meant “pick on” these people! Damn auto-correct!

Hahaha, sounds like you are bitter! I am not going to fall into your posts that you have done throughout this! Must be tough to be as perfect as you. You have no idea of my background and I don’t care what yours is! This is just my opinion and that is all it is, as at least I am speaking my mind. I will not lambast you as it will just be more drivel as you stated. I paid my dues so I will state what I feel providing it is within the confines of the boundaries set out here. That is why people are different, so we can balance out the scales so to speak. You don’t have to like it…… Tough.

    Hey Lien, I’m with you, unless you’ve been there, done that, some folks have no idea. Some of these folks would puke their guts out at seeing some of the stuff that’s happened here and elsewhere.

      Thanks Griz!

    Lien states; “You have no idea of my background and I don’t care what yours is!”

    You have no idea what the unfortunate circumstances were, beyond some of these people’s control, that lead them to being homeless. Yet you seem to enjoy spewing your vile crap all over them! I have read comments on here that describe them as scum of the earth, and wastes of skin… yet when I read your vile and hateful comments about our society’s most marginalized and vulnerable citizens, I think it is people like you that are the scum of the earth, and wastes of skin! But that is just “my” opinion, of course.

      And my opinion, is, you have no idea what you are talking about, because you appear to be very short on experience and life in general. You tell others they’re hateful, yet you’ve spewed your share of hate filled comments of others on this site.
      I have called people scumbags and wastes of skin as well because that is exactly what some of them are. Some live like parasites off of others but you appear to have never seen it or experienced it. Like I say, my opinion is you have no idea.

    I’m bitter?? LOL

    Try re-reading your posts so you can learn what the definition of bitter means.

If you move far out of Town, in the Country you can build any old House you like and take as much time as you won’t to finish it and live in a Trailer or little Shack until you done, done it worked for me! Stay away from the City and you will be fine! To many Fingers in the Pie. In my Work I have seen many do the same thing.

BH you still have not answered an earlier question….. “Where is the money going to come from in society” ……….Perhaps from your own pocket ???

Oh, I don’t know, maybe from the more than $700 BILLION Dollars Canada’s corporations have tucked away and that former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney described as “dead money” because it is not doing anything, just sitting there!

“They’re flush with cash; Canadian non-financial companies have amassed a cash hoard of nearly $700 billion, which former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney described as “dead money” back in 2012—or nearly $200 billion ago. Canadian businesses also enjoy the lowest marginal tax rate on new investment of any country in the G7.”

Come on corporate Canada, time to share the wealth!

ht tp://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/what-the-gdp-numbers-say-about-canadas-great-economic-divide/

Boy this article sure got off track from 159 people and 20 teams getting fleeced by a charity in Ontario!

    Yea, you are right on that! This is usually a sensitive subject when you have issues like this. I am also one to blame for ranting and my apologies. Guess the kind of life I led and how I kept on trucking and made something good, I feel I have an opinion on this subject and how I feel about some people grabbing onto the shirt tails of the taxpayers and milking the system, especially young, able people just get me a tad frustrated. Just wanted to explain my position.

Did I say charity. I meant 4 or 5 well paid folks having a good laugh and drinking some wine on 18,229 walkers,3051 teams, 3584 volunteers, 66392 donaters, and 1044 sponsors. You supporters need to go to their website and look at their financials to see how easily duped people are in the name of charity.

BH….Quotes like “I don,t know” or “maybe” does not pay the bills in society. Corporate companies footing the bills, do not hold your breath. Quotes from internet research as you continually do are not always correct.

Hey hahahahaha, this name is appropriate for you! You sound like one of those evangelists on TV. I was going to avoid your beaking off, but calling me scum of the earth and a waste of skin gets my blood boiling. Stop being a righteous nimrod and get off the pot, I paid my dues for years and years! I just stated my view, nothing more and nothing less! You got a problem get off this page and go start your own website. I was not going to belittle you, but after your beaking off I will now be like you! You need a good dose of reality! I will not answer any more of your mindless crap posts! 3,2,1 and I am gone bye bye!

    Promises, promises.

      BH, didn’t you tell us or even promise us a while ago that you were leaving? And yet you came back!

      And I’m not even talking about the numerous other times that you left us or got booted off, only to reappear under another name!

      Remember People#1?

      Remember Sophic Sage?

      Remember JGalt?

      Remember? Remember?? Remember???

      Remember Peeps? Oh, wait, that was my nickname for you, haha!

      And how many other names? Were you Mattyc as well? You sure seem like you could have been, he was quite the wingnut!

      Promises, promises, sigh!

Two Liberal MLAs announce $1 million in funding for a youth shelter in Maple Ridge they did not know closed down two years ago due to lack of funding. Christian Cowley, with the CEED Centre, notes there is no youth shelter of any kind in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows. “We need at least three shelters to temporarily house the 16 youth between ages 13 and 17 currently on our streets,” Cowley said in a letter.

Apparently the homeless come in all age groups!

ht tp://www.mapleridgenews.com/news/414652004.html

    Dalton and Bing have been working on funding for their constituents for years. After the neighbourhood turned down the purchase of the hotel for a shelter the two MLAs are trying hard to keep the money in the area for its youth. They should just give up I guess hey BH?

      My comment was about specifically about the Iron Horse Youth Safe House in Maple Ridge being closed for two years without the Local Liberal MLAs not even knowing about it and publicly announcing $1 Million dollars in funding to a youth shelter that no longer existed!!! Talk about being out of touch with your riding!!!

      However, your comment has piqued my interest slinky, you mentioned; “After the neighbourhood turned down the purchase of the hotel for a shelter…”

      Where did you get that information slinky? It was not in the news story link I provided, could it be you are getting your information directly from the BC Liberal Government? Are you a paid insider now slinky? Or is there now paid BC Liberal Government staff helping to provide you with background research, not available to the rest of us through public media?

      Where did you get the information about a neighbourhood in Maple Ridge turning down the purchase of a hotel for a youth shelter?

      Slinky, I also find it interesting that your comment takes the typical “Alberta Conservative” approach where they say the residents/ public; needs to “look in the mirror” if they want to assign blame for the mess they are in.

      In this case you, and your Lib-Con backers, attempt to assign blame on the residents of Maple Ridge for the lack of homeless youth shelters… how big of you and your BC Liberal Party!

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