Concordians Sleep in Streets for Homelessness Marathon

Week-long Fundraiser Seeks $30,000 for the At-Risk

Members of the Concordia community will be sleeping on the street until Friday to raise funds and awareness for homelessness. Photo Brandon Johnston

For the seventh year running, Concordia students, administrators and other volunteers are out in the streets sleeping through the cold and the wet to raise awareness and funds for the city’s homeless—and they’ve already raised over $4,000.

“I think that this shows the best of our students and alumni, who are giving themselves, learning about what it’s like to be a little bit homeless at the same time as raising awareness and making some noise. This is what they do best,” said Dean of Students Andrew Woodall, who joined in with Five Days for the Homeless volunteers through the overnight on Sunday to kick off the week.

According to the latest figures available from Quebec’s provincial statistic institute, 12,666 people were homeless in 1998 and using food shelters and other city services.

For organizer Josh Redler, being out in the street has multiple awareness and fundraising benefits for the city’s homeless population.

“Our aim is twofold. One is to raise awareness about the plight of homelessness here in Montreal and across the country and two is to raise much-needed funds for local charities.”

Last year the fundraiser raised about $23,000, which Redler says could be attributed to the economy because the amount raised had dropped consistently since the start of the global economic downturn in 2008.

This year however, Redler says he believes the marathon can reach $30,000. As of Tuesday, $4,363 had been raised by volunteers.

The group’s camp outside the Hall Building will remain until Friday. In total, Concordia community members will be in the streets for five days and five nights to make whatever difference they can.