For the second year in a row, the executive director of the Downtown Mission is camping out to raise awareness about homelessness. Oct 11, 2018. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

Head of Downtown Mission braving the cold for a good cause

For the second year in a row, the executive director of the Downtown Mission is camping out to raise awareness about homelessness.

Ron Dunn is sleeping in a tent overnight until Friday at 11 a.m. at the Wellness Centre at 875 Ouellette Ave. and wants to hear ideas on how the city can better address homelessness, poverty, addiction and mental health.

Dunn said the community has been very supportive since he started his journey at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

“Livy here is my new friend, she’s five years old and she came by to ask me what am I doing here? I had to tell her sadly that there’s people like her that don’t have any food,” said Dunn.

Dunn said one in six people in Windsor live in poverty and homelessness costs the Canadian economy $7 billion a year.

Dunn said donations have been coming in all day to buy a homeless person a meal at the mission.

“Everyone wants to bring me a coffee and I appreciate the sentiment but for $3.11 I can buy a hot meal for somebody at the mission. So, I’d rather take their $3.11,” he said.

Dunn said it’s the least he can do to help the homeless and doesn’t fear for his safety at night downtown because his friends will keep him company.

“They’re upstairs, we have the 103-bed shelter right behind me and lots of people will come by all night. I won’t be alone,” Dunn said.