The Salvation Army held its fifth annual Coldest Night of the Year walk on Saturday night.
Around 35 walkers came out for the event, which is a fundraiser for the Salvation Army’s shelter and programs, said Jason Brinson, Corps Leader of the church and organization.
“The drive behind this event is to raise funds that will go toward assisting those who find themselves in vulnerable situations,” said Brinson.
“We assist and support individuals as they move toward their full potential.”
According to the fundraising page, the Yellowknife teams raised $11,805 for the cause.
Coldest Night of the Year is organized by the Blue Sea Foundation, which will take a portion of those funds before the final amount goes to the local organization.
“They take a portion of it, but they do a lot of the promotion,” explained Brinson.
“So they run the website, they manage the donors that are online.”
The revenue generated from the fundraiser will go toward shelter enhancements, he said.
“When they come to our building, these folks deserve a place. We want them to have a warm experience,” said Brinson.
The sobering centre was housed in the Salvation Army building from October 2017 until the new joint sobering centre and day shelter opened its doors in September. The new facility on 50 Street can hold a maximum of 27 people, but the need for the Salvation Army’s shelter still exists said Brinson.
“There have been nights where we’ve met our capacity of 49 men,” he said.
“The importance of that is to highlight that the sobering centre now exists in town where they also take people who are homeless,” said Brinson. “Between the two of us, if we’re running at capacity, what it shows is that the need is great in the community for places to stay.”
It also goes to show that there is a serious homelessness problem within the city, he said.
The Salvation Army runs a range of programs including food hampers, mental health services, withdrawal management services, transitional housing for men and spiritual and religious care through its community church.
Their thrift store runs on community donations and helps provide affordable clothing and items to people living on a limited budget, said Brinson.
“We’re very thankful for the continued generosity of Yellowknifers,” he said. “They support us all year round.”