A Stanley Humphries Secondary Student is encouraging residents to get involved in this month’s Coldest Night of the Year walk. Jacob Nickason experienced homelessness for a short time while living in Nelson, and is worried that Castlegar doesn’t have the same level of supports for families.

“It’s very concerning to see fellow people in your community without necessities, without a roof over their heads or a place they can call their own. It’s definitely not a good thing to think about or even experience of not knowing where you’re going to be by the end of the day.”

He says his own experience was a short but significant portion of his life, and has now used it as a positive force. “I will say that without that little obstacle in my life I could not have improved to where I am now. Like they say, a little obstacle always makes you stronger.”

The walk is a fundraiser for charities that support the hungry and homeless and happens on February 23. In Castlegar, proceeds go to the Castlegar and District Community Services Society. There’s also a walk in Nelson which supports the Nelson Cares Society.

Nickason adds even if you can’t donate, there’s ways to help. “Just do what you can to help. If you can’t donate that’s fine, just get the word out.”

Castlegar’s walk beings and ends at the United Church (809 Merrycreek Rd) with registration opening at 4:00 pm and the walk at 5:15. A location is still being finalized for Nelson’s walk.