Castlegar youth ask council to support homelessness walk

The Coldest Night of the Year walk will be held Feb. 23.

The Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) walk is coming back to Castlegar and a couple of local teens gave city councillors some compelling reasons to support the cause during this week’s council meeting.

The CNOY walk aims to raise awareness and funds to help combat homelessness.

Castlegar youth Jacob Nickason says he has experienced homelessness first hand.

“I’m here today to give you a bit of a youth perspective on homelessness,” Nickason told council.

Nickason’s father became ill, which resulted in the family being homeless for a short period of time.

“Thankfully, being in Nelson, they had the programs and shelters that helped us get back on our feet fairly quickly. But I don’t see the same in Castlegar, which is very worrying.

“That is why as a youth I am supporting CNOY,” said Nickason. “One in five homeless are youth and I want to help put a stop to that.”

“Even if this movement only had the support of one town, called Castlegar, it would still be a huge start in changing or saving someone’s life.”

The local walk is being led by youth under the guidance of Zoe Mackay, Castlegar’s Youth Action Network Program Coordinator. It will be held on Feb. 23.

Kaylee Bell is a youth leader at the Castlegar Youth Action Network, and although she has never experienced homelessness herself, her parents and grandparents have.

“I have always had a roof over my head and known where my next meal is coming from,” said Bell. “But both of my parents grew up in poverty, so I know that it happened in my family and it really hurts knowing that people do struggle with that.”

Bell feels strongly that everyone can play some role in the walk.

“I want to do my part to help, and I think it is my responsibility to help,” she said.

“I think there is a lot of apathy in Castlegar, because we don’t really see the homeless community all that much.”

Mackay has set a goal of 30 teams this year and she wants to encourages businesses, families and other groups or individuals to put a team together to fight homelessness.

Money raised during the walk is split three ways between the CNOY organization, the Castlegar Youth Action Network and the Castlegar Homelessness Partnering Strategy.

“It’s one day of the year. This is the future of Castlegar we are talking about,” said Mackay.

“I want to encourage everyone to contribute in some way — sign up, volunteer, make a contribution.”

For more information go to cnoy.org or contact Mckay at youth@cdcss.ca.

RELATED: Program to help Castlegar homeless will continue



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Help clean Castlegar during Pitch-in week

Volunteers across the country will be tidying up April 22-29.

PLACE NAMES: Columbia Heights

What was originally Columbia Heights became West Trail but then reverted back to Columbia Heights

Merry Creek Trail to see improvements

Columbia Basin Trust supplies $484,000 for 29 trail projects around the Basin.

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

Castlegar Realtor honoured for achievements

Re/Max recognized Castlegar and Grand Forks realtor Lorene MacGregor

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Happy birthday: Queen Elizabeth II turns 93 on Easter Sunday

Sunday is the first of two birthday celebrations each year for the queen

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Most Read