Join the fight against poverty on February 19

PEEL REGION (February16, 2016) – On a cold winter night, committed residents across the region will try to make it through the 2nd Annual Longest Night in support of United Way of Peel Region’s homelessness strategy. With over 200,000 residents living in poverty the threat of homelessness is very real. The loss of a job, an unexpected illness or family breakdown can be the catalyst to many to lose their homes. Some families and individuals who lose their homes are turning to their cars for shelter.

“I hear many stories from people across the community and all walks of life about their experiences with homelessness due to job loss, separation, addiction and illness. Most people never expected they would ever be homeless. Everyone has a story and they're just like you and me.” Said Shelley White, President and CEO, United Way of Peel Region.
“Homelessness looks different here. You may not see people sleeping on the streets. Here, homelessness is more subtle. Last year, 14,520 people including almost 4,000 children and youth used homeless shelters and transitional housing.  Over 450 kids were turned away from our one emergency youth shelter due to lack of space.” Said White.
Longest Night Peel champions include community and political leaders as well as family and youth volunteers participating in neighbourhoods across Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga. Participants will sleep in their cars and engage in a virtual conversation to raise both funds and awareness.

Some participants include:

  • City of Brampton, Mayor Linda Jeffery
  • Town of Caledon, Mayor Allan Thompson
  • City of Brampton, Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon
  • City of Brampton, Councillor Martin Medeiros
  • Member of Parliament, Brampton South, Sonia Sidhu
  • Metrolinx President and CEO, United Way Board Member, Bruce McCuaig
  • Partner, Pallett Valo LLP, United Way Board Chair, John Russo 
  • Financial Services Senior Executive, TD Bank Financial Group, United Way Vice Chair Thomas Dyck 
  • Senior Vice President, Payment, TD Bank, United Way Board Member, Chuck Hounsell 
  • United Way President and CEO, Shelley White
  • Minor bantam hockey team - The Meadowvale Hawks 93
  • High school students and youth social justice clubs across the region

 Join the virtual event on Friday, February 19th participants are encouraged to share their experiences on social media using #LongestNightPeel
When:  Friday, February 19, 2016, 11 p.m. – 6 a.m.         
Where: Garden Square, Brampton
Visit for additional details

About United Way of Peel Region
Established in 1967, United Way of Peel Region inspires people from all walks of life to come together to raise funds, volunteer and motivate policy and attitude changes that lead to the improvement of people’s quality of life in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga. United Way’s community investment focus is to help individuals and families move from a life of poverty to one full of possibilities, to ensure all children have the opportunity to be all they can be, and to build strong communities. For more information on United Way’s work in the community visit:

Media contacts:

Roy Saad | Manager, Stakeholder Engagement
416-356-6344 (mobile) | | @unitedwaypeel