From left: Michelle Demoe, homeless prevention worker, and Donal Willier, program assistant for Ksan House Society in the Turning Points Housing Connections shelter. (Contributed photo)

Terrace zips up for Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser

Annual walk raises funds for Ksan Society extreme weather shelter

For one night on Feb. 23, “Coldest Night of the Year” walkers will head out into the February chill, getting a short glimpse of what homeless people have to endure during the winter months.

More than $4,000 has been raised in Terrace with 57 people signed up to participate in the annual nation-wide fundraiser that raises money to help those living on the streets. The amount is 17 per cent of their $25,000 goal.

“We’ve still got a ways to go and we’ve got a short amount of time to do it,” says Hilary Lightening, fundraising campaign coordinator. “We could use more participants and we’re really looking for some sponsors right now.”

Registration for this year’s walk begins at the Ksan House (4838 Lazelle Ave.) at 4 p.m. Feb. 23 and will begin after 5 p.m. shortly after the opening ceremony. There are options for two-kilometre, five-kilometre, and 10-kilometre routes, with all routes ending around 8 p.m. back at the start.

READ MORE: Homeless shelter now open

The money helps to keep the doors open during the day for Ksan Society’s Turning Points Housing Connections emergency shelter at 4444 Lazelle Ave.

Since it opened nearly two years ago, the shelter has regularly housed on average 26 people per night, despite having only 20 beds available. Nobody is turned away, Lightening says.

“It’s an emergency shelter for those who are experiencing homelessness and they have nowhere else to go, the beds are always used at capacity, and it’s a very well-used facility,” Lightening says.

The need often exceeds the funding available, and the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser helps to support those who are vulnerable. Lightening says several people staying at the shelter have said it is an important refuge for them, especially over the winter months.

“A lot of people sometimes lose their compassion, and sometimes don’t think about the different reasons why people are homeless. A lot of them are unresolved trauma, some people have mental health issues and they don’t have support…a lot of times it has to do with this gap in their income versus the cost of living in our community, because there is no affordable housing right now.”

Last week, the shelter saw one of their highest counts this year — with 40 people seeking shelter from the freezing temperatures.

“Everybody who is experiencing homelessness is somebody’s friend, somebody’s cousin, somebody’s son, daughter — you may know someone living on the streets right now, and they deserve our help.”

READ MORE: Volunteers step up to the grill to help Ksan Society

In 2017, the fundraising walk raised $10,240 for Turning Points Housing Connections. The walk was organized in 2019 after a hiatus last year when staffing availability prevented the Ksan Society from putting the fundraiser together.

More information and to donate, visit Ksan Society’s table at the Skeena Mall on Feb. 16. Register for the walk online at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Security guard now on patrol at three Terrace banks

Company hired to secure ATM vestibules due to safety concerns

LNG Canada sponsors fast-tracked driver’s license training in Terrace, Kitimat

The $80,000 contribution is part of the company’s commitment to hire locally

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read