Natasha Boorman, left, and her mother, right, during last year’s Coldest Night of the Year fundraising walk. (Submitted photo)

Natasha Boorman, left, and her mother, right, during last year’s Coldest Night of the Year fundraising walk. (Submitted photo)

Qualicum Beach woman walks to raise awareness for unhoused LGBTQ youth

‘You can’t really change things like this unless people know that it’s an issue’

On ‘the coldest night of the year,’ one Qualicum Beach woman will walk to raise awareness for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness.

The Coldest Night of the Year Oceanside is a fundraising walk hosted by the Island Crisis Care Society to raise donations for charities that serve people experiencing homelessness. This year a virtual walk will be held on Feb. 20.

While monetary donations are essential for the cause, to Natasha Boorman what is equally important is why she chose to participate.

“I intend to raise awareness for the LGBTQ youths that are unhoused, or at risk, or vulnerable,” she said. “And to acknowledge that we’re people and that we exist, and we face a lot of issues.”

LGBTQ people are over-represented in unhoused populations, in people with substance abuse and with people experiencing mental health issues, said Boorman.

“You can’t really change things like this unless people know that it’s an issue.”

On the Covenant House Vancouver website, it states that 25 to 40 per cent of unhoused youth identify as LGBTQ. A book titled Where Am I Going To Go?, published by the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and A Way Home Canada, also states that 40 per cent of youth who experience homelessness identify as LGBTQ.

READ MORE: Coldest Night of the Year walk in Parksville goes virtual for 2021

However, in a report published in 2018 and conducted by the Oceanside Homelessness Task Force, only eight per cent of people experiencing homelessness in Parksville Qualicum Beach identified as LGBTQ. This report was based on a survey of 2,031 respondents. It should also be noted that 2,248 people chose not to respond, or “didn’t know.”

Boorman believes those numbers underestimate the actual LGBTQ population experiencing homelessness.

“I’ve noticed in the past that Oceanside has a very ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ attitude towards queer folk.”

Although she wouldn’t be surprised to see the identified numbers increase and the unidentified numbers decrease over the years.

“We are definitely seeing those number on the rise with the youth population as it becomes more acceptable to be openly queer,” she said.

While Boorman’s initial goal of $250 was met on Jan. 5, and currently stands at $485 as of Feb. 14, she said that every little bit helps people get the support they need.

For those interested in donating to Coldest Night of the Year Oceanside, they can do so at

Boorman’s donation page will remain open until Feb. 20.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

HomelessnessLGBTQParksvillequalicum beach

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Town of Qualicum Beach will put aside money for future purchase of electric vehicle and to put up charging stations. (Photo Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions)
Qualicum Beach to put aside funds for purchase of electric vehicles, charging stations

Citizens can donate funds to help reduce emissions in town

Ecko Aleck, recipient of $5,000 award for Indigenous entrepreneurs presented by Young Entrepreneurs Symposium. (photo courtesy of Adam Ziorio Photography)
Qualicum Beach woman one of 20 winners in nationwide challenge for Indigenous entrepreneurs

Ecko Aleck plans to create youth council with paid consultation

(PQB News file photo)
Qualicum Beach voters head back to the polls on May 15

Byelection will be held to replace former councillor (now MLA) Adam Walker

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Island teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

Teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressures from outside and within

Ella Donovan with mom Tina outside Fuller Lake Arena before heading onto the ice for practice. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Young Ladysmith skater watches and waits in battle against cancer

Ella Donovan’s tumour began a tumultuous time, but community support eased the burden

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Most Read