I was invited via my colleagues at CAA Niagara to participate in the No Fixed Address Event in order to raise money for YWCA Niagara, an organization that provides shelter, food and assistance to women and families in poverty in the Niagara region.
No Fixed Address is a 24-hour live-in-your-car-a-thon in which participants raise money and earn sponsorships to comprehend what it is like to live in a vehicle rather than a home. Throughout the duration of the event, participants experience the challenges affiliated with living in a car, eating a soup kitchen diet, and the difficulty in locating a private rest room when needed.
I have never participated in a No Fixed Address event, but I think it is an absolutely fantastic way to raise awareness regarding homelessness and the obstacles that occur everyday for people living within our own communities.
CBC reported that:
- At least 200,000 Canadians experience homelessness in any given year.
- At least 150,000 Canadians a year use a homeless shelter at some point.
- At least 30,000 Canadians are homeless on any given night.
- At least 50,000 Canadians are part of the “hidden homeless” on any given night — staying with friends or relatives on a temporary basis as they have nowhere else to go.
I find that individuals perceive homelessness in a sometimes ignorant perspective, assuming that it fails to exist within our own backyards. This is an incredibly false and misinformed assumption, however, and organizations such as No Fixed Address are key in abolishing these sorts of assumptions.
If there is any sort of homelessness-awareness event happening in your own community, I encourage you to participate. It will likely be a life-changing experience, and perhaps it will ignite a passion within you to advocate for homelessness awareness.
Check out this video from No Fixed Address: