Feeling Vulnerable

In our ongoing effort to raise awareness and spark action around the complex homelessness issue in HRM we’re launching a new event called ‘Sleep-out for change.’

We’re proud to see Mayor Mike Savage and Police Chief Jean-Michel Blais take the lead. They’ve agreed to ‘sleep-rough’ on Saturday, October 5 and shine a spotlight on the complex issue of homelessness in our community. This indicates they’re serious about making a difference in our community. They’ll be joined by 30-50 other caring community leaders, myself included. Armed with a sheet of cardboard and a sleeping bag, we’ll be braving the elements to engage in an evening of frank conversation followed by a night
‘sleeping-rough.’

This event is in no way meant to simulate the life of a person experiencing homelessness, it’s simply meant to get people out of their comfort zone and expose their vulnerabilities. In doing so, we hope people will better understand the harsh realities faced by those experiencing homelessness and prompt participants to look for solutions for this very real issue in our community.

For me this has helped put things into perspective. Those who know me will tell you I’m like a lizard. I’d be happiest under a heat lamp or warming in a tropical sun. You could say I’m psychologically allergic to the cold.

As I think about the event and spending a night outside, I think of the challenges dealing with the cold and with trying to get comfortable enough to be able to actually fall asleep. This has me out of my comfort zone and feeling vulnerable, and the event is still more than two weeks away!

This has caused me to pause and think how I’m feeling about a one night event which I’ll be leaving the next morning to return to the comfort of my home. I can’t imagine what people experiencing homelessness have to endure on a daily basis. They don’t know where they may be laying their heads that night. They don’t know where their next meal will come from, if they get one at all. For them, this is their life.

We owe it to our fellow community members who’re struggling, to do whatever we can to help. For me, one night away from my ‘heat lamp’ is a small price to pay if we can discover some solutions through the conversation or raise a few dollars to put toward services for our clients.

It’s not too late for you to join us or to pledge one of our participants from the comfort of your home. Find out more about what you can do by visiting our website.

-Don

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