I'm already uncomfortable just thinking about spending the night in my car. On Friday night when I sleep in my truck I'll be relatively comfortable - compared to other people in our community. This point became incredibly clear to me a couple weeks ago.
I was walking home very late and noticed a car parked on our road. It was an older Toyota, and as I approached I noticed it was full of clothes and other personal effects. They filled the backseat past the bottom of the windows. As I walked by I noticed I couldn't see the passenger seat headrest. Seeing movement in the vehicle, I realized someone was in the car, on the passenger seat, underneath all those belongings, and trying to get a good night sleep. On my street. Just doors away from my house. A clear reminder of just how close to home poverty can be.
I’ve been a supporter of United Way for a long time. This was just another reminder of the important role the organization plays in our community.
#LongestNightPeel is an annual event held by United Way of Peel Region that encourages individuals and families to spend one night in their car and fundraise. Through real life participation, participants will gain a better understanding of the daily challenges faced by children and adults living in poverty; and will be encouraged to play a part in helping to end homelessness in Peel Region.
This year #LongestNightPeel is taking place on Friday, February 17.
Although anyone can participate in #LongestNightPeel, a few high profile individuals in our community are leading the fundraising initiative.