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Coldest Night of the Year

Weather forecasters are calling for a long, cold winter in Pembroke and the Ottawa Valley, but that won‘t stop hundreds of Renfrew County residents from walking to fight homelessness on February 23, 2019, in the Coldest Night of the Year Pembroke fundraising walk.

The Pembroke walkers will be joining participants from right across Canada, who will be walking to support their local organizations dedicated to reducing homelessness.  The walk is held in February partly to help participants get a taste of what homelessness can be like during a Canadian winter.

Again this year, the team-based event will start and end at the Pembroke Armouries on Victoria Street, with participants choosing, 2km, 5km or 10km routes.  The dollars raised from the walk will help both The Grind Pembroke Shelter Services for Adults and Renfrew County Safe Shelter for Youth, a partnership initiative led by Family & Children‘s Services of Renfrew County, Columbus House Pembroke, Phoenix Centre for Children and Families and Renfrew County United Way.

“The dollars raised by this event are crucial for the front-line work we are doing to help homeless adults and youth at risk of homelessness right here in Pembroke and Renfrew County,” states Coldest Night Event Chair David Studham.  “Since 2017, 147 adults have received emergency shelter through The Grind, while 40 young people have been supported on their journey by Renfrew County Safe Shelter for Youth.”

Renfrew County Safe Shelter for Youth was formed to help youth who are homeless and at-risk of homelessness in Renfrew County achieve healthy independent living, while The Grind Pembroke Shelter Services for Adults is a cornerstone of programming that includes an active coffee house and an outreach program that helps adults connect to the health and social services they need.

Organizers are looking for family, community and business-based teams, who are willing to raise funds, walk the streets, then enjoy food and fellowship following the walk.  People are encouraged to register their team at or call 613-732-9423 for assistance and/or to learn more about how they can help.

Thanks to the generosity of community members in Renfrew County, Coldest Night of the Year 2018 was able to raise over $40,000 to help improve the lives of at-risk youth and adults.  Homelessness may be a hidden problem, but the fact is it exists in Renfrew County.  Join us on Saturday February 23, 2019 as we walk the streets of downtown Pembroke to stamp out this silent destroyer of human lives.