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Calgary's Wood's Homes marks Coldest Night of the Year

Outreach volunteers offer help to the homeless on a -20C night in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh) Outreach volunteers offer help to the homeless on a -20C night in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)
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Calgary organization Wood's Homes is preparing to mark the Coldest Night of the Year this weekend.

Organizations across the province participate in the event every year on Feb. 24, in an effort to support those experiencing homelessness.

This year, five Alberta organizations are taking part, including three in Calgary.

A 2022 point-in-time count from the Calgary Homeless Foundation revealed 77.8 per cent of people experiencing homelessness were in the 25 to 44 and 45 to 64 age groups, 10 per cent were in the 13 to 17 and 18 to 24 age groups, 8.6 per cent were children and 3.6 per cent were seniors 65 and older.

The Wood’s Homes Calgary location will welcome more than 250 people to hear stories of youth facing homelessness before walking a two or five-kilometer route along roads and pathways in Inglewood.

Part of the journey includes a stopover in Wood’s Homes’ Inglewood Opportunity Hub and Warming Centre, where participants can enjoy warm food and drinks.

"Passports will guide them through various stations that represent the services at-risk young people can find at the hub," said a Wood’s Homes news release.

Hub services include shelter, a hot shower, laundry facilities, and crisis counsellors.

Wood’s Homes provides mental health treatment and support for young people and families in Calgary, Lethbridge, Strathmore, Fort McMurray, Cold Lake, Grande Prairie and Lac La Biche.

The event starts at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at the City of Calgary's Parking Lot 81, 712 12 St. S.E., and the warming centre stopover is at the Inglewood Opportunity Hub, 1001 14 St. S.E. 

Other organizations taking part include the Mustard Seed, Oxford House and Streets Alive Mission.

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