Students from 26 Canadian universities will sleep in the streets of 19 cities as part of 5 Days for the Homeless, a campaign designed to draw attention to the issue of homelessness. They will solicit donations for local charities while giving up many of life’s daily comforts, such as showering, clean clothes and disposable income.
The 5 Days campaign started at the University of Alberta School of Business in 2005. Joshua Redler, a graduate of Concordia's John Molson School of Business, first took part in 2008 when the program went national and he has been organizing Montreal’s participation ever since.
“Two other JMSB colleagues, Adam Gold and Brian Chungwing, and I braved that first year in minus-20 degree temperatures every day and night. When we managed to raise $42,000, I was so touched that I’ve been back every year since to run the event in Montreal.”
There are five Montreal-based universities participating in the campaign. Concordia, McGill, HEC Montréal, Université de Montréal and ESG (the management school) at UQÀM will donate their proceeds to Dans la rue, a local organization that helps get young people off the street and back on their feet. Concordia's involvement in the campaign has raised some $175,000 for the Montreal charity in the past five years.
“This event is important because it sheds light on a major issue that is in front of us every day,” says Redler. “It also gives people a different perspective as to the plight of the homeless by having them give up their basic needs and luxuries and sleep outside on the sidewalk.”
Since 2005, 5 Days for the Homeless has raised more than $975,000 nation-wide for
local homeless charities. The overall success of the campaign is due to the support of Canadians, as well as the generosity of the media and local businesses.
When: From Sunday, March 10 at 5 p.m. to Friday, March 15 at 5 p.m.
Where: Intersection of Mackay Street and De Maisonneuve Boulevard West, Sir George Williams Campus
• 5 Days for the Homeless online donations
• 5 Days for the Homeless Montreal (Facebook)
• Dans la rue
• John Molson School of Business