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Hundreds of Calgarians step up in Crescent Heights to help end homelessness

About 300 people laced up their runners and tackled the McHugh Bluff staircase to help bring an end to homelessness in Calgary.

For every set of the 176 steps that are completed; one dollar is donated to Inn from the Cold and those donations will be match by the Power of One Foundation.

“At Inn from the Cold, 50 per cent of our budget comes from community donations and that’s super critical right now, because of the housing crisis, we are seeing more and more families reaching out for support,” said Emma MacIsaac, director of impact and engagement at Inn from the Cold

“That money just helps us continue to provide shelter, housing, wraparound supports for families that are facing the housing crisis and have increased bills as a result of inflation and affordability.”

Steps to End Homelessness was startedin 2009  by Suzanne West, who wanted to do something significant and impactful on her 45th birthday.

“My sister when she turned 45 phoned me and said she wanted to do 45 sets of the Crescent Heights stairs for her birthday and wanted to know if I would join her and I was like, no, that sounds horrible,” said her sister Kathy Rwamuningi.

“Then two days later, she phone and says well, I’m making it a fundraiser, for every set that I and whoever wants to join me does I’ll donate $1.

“Then it was a different charity but the next year Inn from the Cold became the benefactor and has had a good partnership ever since.”

Suzanne died in 2019, but her family is committed to continuing this fundraiser.

“These were her stairs. It was her favourite day of the year, favourite thing that she wanted to do. I love coming and feeling her energy here,” said Rwamuningi.

Steps to End Homelessness has raised nearly half a million dollars since it launched in 2009.

This year organizers hope to eclipse the $100,000 mark.

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