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Regina’s Coldest Night of the Year event focuses on women and children facing homelessness

Funds raised from this year's "Coldest Night of the Year" event will focus on women and children facing homelessness in Regina. Files

An annual event that brings the community together to raise funds and awareness on homelessness in Regina will take place Saturday, Feb. 26

Every year, YWCA Regina organizes the Coldest Night of the Year event as a family-friendly winter fundraiser. This year’s event will be dedicated to women and children facing homelessness in the city.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, YWCA will offer hybrid options, both in-person and virtual, to give people ample opportunity to get involved. Participants will safely gather in the heart of downtown for an in-person 2- or 5-kilometre walk to raise awareness and funds.

Read more: YWCA Regina raises record amount with Coldest Night of the Year walk

“Homelessness does not just happen – economic barriers, discrimination, gender and lack of access to support impact how people end up facing homelessness,” stated YWCA Regina CEO Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen in a release.

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“Women and children are especially impacted by this. Some women are forced to choose between sleeping on the streets or staying in a dangerous home situation. It’s not acceptable, and it takes community action in addressing these root issues to challenge and end homelessness in our city.”

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The in-person event kicks off at 4 p.m. starting at St. Paul’s Cathedral where participants can choose either of the two walking routes that go through downtown. Following the walk, participants will be able to enjoy a takeaway dinner.

Read more: Recent Point-In-Time study shows stark increase in homelessness numbers in Regina for 2021

Participants who wish to participate virtually can register Saturday then walk when they want, where they want, and with whomever they want and share their progress and fundraising efforts on social media.

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YWCA stated the funds raised will go towards Regina’s My Aunt’s Place – an emergency homeless shelter for women and families.

The goal is to raise $75,000 and participants who raise over $150 will be given a “Coldest Night of the Year” toque.

YWCA said the event raises important awareness within the community of how prevalent and complex family homelessness is.

According to the most recent Point-in-Time Count of Homelessness in Regina, 488 individuals were experiencing homelessness in Regina in a single night, up from 286 individuals in 2018.

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