Coldest Night of the Year is Feb. 20 in Parksville

Society hopes to raise $30,000 this year for the homeless and needy of the region

Feb. 20 will be the Coldest Night of the Year.

Well, it might not be temperature-wise, but the Island Crisis Care Society and local advocates for the homeless appeared before Parksville city council last week to remind people about this important fundraiser.

One councillor, Mary Beil, has a tough act to follow. She raised more money (more than $4,000) than any other participant in 2015.

Last year, Parksville hosted the city’s first ever Coldest Night of the Year event, raising $25,000. More than 200 people took part in the walk and proceeds went to local homelessness initiatives.

“If we didn’t have the money that came in from the Coldest Night of the Year I don’t know what we would have done,” event organizer Violet Hayes of the Island Crisis Care Society told council.

This year the fundraising goal is $30,000.

At Hayes’ side for the presentation to council was Sarah Poole from the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness. She said Housing First initiatives used locally have helped 20 family units or single people get a roof over their heads in the past year, which has led to “dramatic” changes in these clients’ self-esteem and coping skills.

“The changes we have seen in people over a year has been astounding,” said Poole.

Hayes said the money raised through the Coldest Night of the Year helps advocates provide 24/7 services to the homeless and needy of the region, especially considering the high cost of housing here and the lack of a homeless shelter.

For more information about the Coldest Night of the Year event, contact Tricia Plunkett at 250-752-3494 or visit

https://coldestnightoftheyear.org/home.