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360°Experience – Alton in the Cold

On March 2 our very own Mr. Alton took part in the 10th annual 360°Experience for 360°kids, an outdoor overnight fundraising event that raises awareness and funds for the life-changing programs that support at-risk and homeless youth in York Region. As of today, he has managed to raise over $5,000 for this amazing cause. Donations are still accepted here until March 31st. Remember, if we manage to raise over $10,000, Mr. Alton, promised to cut his hair.

Not only did Mr. Alton experience some of the harsh realities homeless youth face, but he was also live streaming his experience to our Richland Community so they could also learn about the challenges of being homeless. You can see it all happening here!

“Spend one night in the cold, so no kid has to.”

What is the 360°Experience?

The 360°Experience is a signature event held annually by 360°kids around March on one of the coldest nights of the winter season. This year marks the 10th year anniversary of this event and over the last 10 years, the event has raised over $1.2 million for 360°kids and has had over 589 participants and volunteers. 

Homelessness can happen to anyone, at any time, and for a variety of reasons. It is a lonely and frightening experience for anyone and with over 300 youth homeless every night in the community, it is crucial that we come together to make a difference. 

Many vulnerable and underprivileged youth are forced into unsafe situations because they either do not have the financial or family supports to have a stable home. Every year thousands of young people are helped by 360°kids and these numbers are growing as the youth homelessness issue continues in York Region.  Some of the main contributing factors of homelessness are; family conflict, abuse, lack of affordable housing, and declining mental health.

Mr. Alton’s 360°Experience

The experience took Mr. Alton around York Region with a tour of a mobile temporary shelter and youth clinic, a visit to a dedicated men’s shelter, and a dedicated women’s shelter. Crucially, Mr. Alton was able to see firsthand the difficulties that homeless people face. Seating at bus shelters have been designed to discourage rough sleeping. Access to washrooms is very limited and many businesses turn away homeless people from using their washrooms. Overall, it was a grueling experience as many of you can imagine but these are the experiences that many of our youths face each day. We give deep thanks to Mr. Alton for highlighting these issues.

Mr. Alton wasn’t entirely alone in his journey. The wonderful Ms. Kraft and Madame Thompson were close by providing their support throughout the night with the dynamic trio returning to school in the early hours the next day. Congratulations to all three for completing this challenge and a big thank you to our community for the donations which make a huge difference to the homeless youths in York Region.

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