The Original 24 Hours of Homelessness is coming back and the date is set for January 25th, 2018 at 4pm. This event is easily one of the most challenging, but also eye-opening experiences you will ever complete! Help us raise funds and awareness for youth homelessness in Ottawa while experiencing a night on the streets of Ottawa.
This is the original Reality Campaign event which was launched over 15 years ago! Participants spend 24 Hours outside of the Royal Oak on Bank and Gloucester. The goal is to raise awareness of the realities of living on the streets in Ottawa in the winter. Temperatures can dip as low as -40 at which point, when youth sleep, they are exposed not only to safety risks, but health risks as well. The event is broadcast for the full 24 hours on 1061Chez. The Original 24 Hours is an event that is hosted each year by Eric the Intern to raise funds for Operation Come Home and awareness for the reality of homelessness in Ottawa. Each year, participants spend 24 hours living as if they were homeless. Friends and family are encouraged to visit and sponsor the participants.
There are certainly some hesitations that are completely justified, but hopefully the details below will help convince you to join our amazing and ever-growing team!
What You Need to Know:
• Layer up! Snow pants, good mitts and great boots are encouraged. Ottawa is a generous city and even in our donations, you would find some of the warmest materials for the winter so you deserve them too! Operation Come Home will provide everyone with sleeping bags, but if you’d like to bring your own and/or a pillow, please do.
• Get warm! We sleep outside of the Royal Oak on Bank and Gloucester and you can certainly go in their to warm up or use their washrooms. Youth would not spend a full 24 hours outside without spending some time warming up in a Tim Horton’s or at Operation Come Home, so if you need a break – take it!
• Use your resources! As mentioned previously, the Royal Oak lets us use their washroom facilities. After they close, Operation Come Home is just half a block away and staff have access to the building. If you need to warm up or use the bathroom, let one of them know.
• Eat! We often have friends and family who bring food and drinks to help us get through the 24 hours. Please be sure to take advantage of this. Some participants also take time to enjoy a meal and a beverage or two at the Royal Oak so if you would like to do so as well, please feel free.
• Safety first! If you are not feeling well or if you are getting too cold, please let a staff know so we can see what we can do to help. We don’t want anyone finding themselves unnecessarily cold or sick as a result of this event.
• Pack your tech! We do ask that people share their experiences on social media to help spread the word. Packing your phone is a huge help. Please note that if it is really cold, batteries die fast. There are external outlets for you to charge your phones as well as ones inside the restaurant.
• Ask questions! If you need something or are unsure of what to expect, please feel free to ask questions. There are some staff who have been doing this for 5 years so they can certainly offer you valuable guidance.
• Let us know your limits! Naturally, we would love to have you join us for the full 24 hours but if this is impossible, please let us know so that we can make sure we don’t think we’ve lost you. We’re happy to have you join us for as long as whatever suits your schedule.
The Original 24 Hours is a challenge and the level of challenge varies each year with whatever weather comes our way. Some years, we have been outside where the weather has been -45 with the windchill and other years it has been much warmer, but wet. Dress and plan appropriately! We assure you that this will be one of the most eye-opening and valuable experiences of your entire life and we’re thrilled that you’re joining our team this year!
What We Have for You:
• A sleeping bag
• Skids (so that you’re not sleeping directly on the ground)
• Access to washrooms and warmth
• Breakfast (nothing too fancy, but coffee and light snacks)
• Staff on site for the full 24 hours
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details or to sign up!