Chatham Hope Haven men's shelter, April 19, 2017. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

Chatham Hope Haven Organizes 3rd Annual Boxes And Blankets Event

Chatham Hope Haven is asking Chatham-Kent residents to ditch their cozy beds and raise money for the homeless at their 3rd annual Boxes and Blankets Awareness/Fundraising Event in September.

Volunteers and staff at Chatham Hope Haven will be raising awareness and funds by sleeping on the street overnight, with only boxes and blankets. The event will take place from Friday September 15 at 7pm to Saturday September 16 at 7am downtown in front of Sears on King St.

“We encourage people to come out and stay with us for one night, out on the street, in a box– so that you can get a feel of what it might be like if you were homeless and had no where to go,” explains Program Manager Faye Wilson.

For the past two years, Chatham Hope Haven has been running an outreach program for homeless people in the area. Funds raised during the event will go towards operating costs of the haven, which currently only has a day-time program.

“We have had a huge struggle actually getting our overnight program open. We continue to have a few more things to do before we open, but each time we’re getting closer,” says Wilson.

Wilson has a fundraising goal of $20,000 for the event. She says once enough money is raised to complete construction, a safe space will be ready for up to ten homeless men to sleep in.

She adds that volunteers are also needed to supervise the Boxes and Blankets event. There are information meetings held at the haven every second Saturday of the month from 1 to 2pm.

Pledge sheets can be picked up at the office at 183 Wellington St. W. during office hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 10am and 2pm.