Coldest Night of the Year walk raises record amount for Youth Haven

Funds are used to provide emergency shelter, educational support, and more

Undaunted by the cold, nearly 300 people and 59 teams raised close to $102,000 for Youth Haven during Saturday’s Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) walk in Barrie.

It is a record-breaking amount.

Youth Haven’s executive director, Lucy Gowers, called it uplifting and inspiring.

“People of all ages came together today because they wanted to make a significant and positive difference in the lives of others.”

This was the first in-person walk since 2020, due to the pandemic. Participants were able to choose between a 2 km or 5 km walk through the downtown.

Funds from CNOY are used to provide emergency shelter, a transitional housing program, advocacy, educational support, employment resources and outreach services.

“The money is also used to provide meals to well over two dozen youth each day,” said Gowers. “The staff, the board of directors and I are humbled by the support from the community.”

Youth Haven is Simcoe County’s only shelter for youth aged 16 to 24 who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless.

images: Barrie 360