BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — More than 150 people pounded the snowy pavement Saturday afternoon at Delaware Park to raise thousands of dollars for homeless youth.
Compass House of Buffalo is one of the nation’s oldest homeless shelters for youth. And for the second year in a row, its ‘Coldest Night of the Year’ 5k walk raised money and awareness for those in need.
“We’re kind of putting ourselves in the shoes of today. Our homeless population doesn’t have a place to go warm up and they really don’t have an end in sight and without places like Compass House,” said Alexis Addison, director of development, Compass House.
The ‘Coldest Night of the Year’ started as a fundraiser in Canada.
Last year, it made its way across the border and Compass House jumped on board.
“All the money we raised today at our event we put back into all of our programs,” said Alexis Skowron, communication and volunteer coordinator, Compass House. “So, we have our shelter, we have our resource center, we also do transitional housing for men and women and then we have our rapid re-housing program too.”
More than 150 people registered for the walk around Delaware Park’s Ring Road. It raised roughly $14,000 in donations towards the $20,000 goal.
Lily Campbell is a high school student who says she signed up to volunteer to help those in need.
“There’s so many people that don’t have homes and don’t get food or heat or anything,” Campbell added. “Especially in the wintertime, it can be pretty life-threatening.”
In addition to the walk, participants were able to write words of encouragement to Compass House clients.
Looking ahead, Compass House is hoping for an even bigger turnout next year.
“Just always trying to improve, always trying to make even better of an experience the following year,” said Skowron.
For more information on Compass House, click here.
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Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.