Yards for Hope gears up for 5th year in support of Hope Mission

On Oct. 7 and 8, the morning team at CISN Country 103.9 will be camping out at Commonwealth Stadium to raise funds for Hope Mission.

Since 2016, Chris Scheetz, Jack Sweeney and Matt DeBeurs have camped out at the football stadium for Yards for Hope. The team starts at one end of the field and moves down the turf one yard at a time, for every $1,000 donated.

Read more: Yards for Hope sets new donation record for Edmonton’s homeless community

The organization provides meals, shelter and other resources to Edmontonians experiencing homelessness.

Ryan Harding, manager of outreach at Hope Mission, said Yards for Hope is the organization’s largest fundraiser.

“It’s invaluable every year. I don’t know what we would do without it, to be honest.”

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Click to play video 'Yards for Hope campaign raising money at Commonwealth Stadium' Yards for Hope campaign raising money at Commonwealth Stadium

Yards for Hope campaign raising money at Commonwealth Stadium

Harding said the fundraiser comes at the perfect time. He’s seen an increase in clients who have a place to stay, but still need access to resources.

“We’re seeing people who were making ends meet, but they aren’t anymore,” Harding said.

“Through all of this we are still working with people, still feeding people. I’m sure across the province we will hit one million meals this year. We are still housing hundreds of people every night.

Hope Mission is also facing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In September, the team saw its first COVID-19 case.

Read more: Advocates say more plans needed for homeless camps as Edmonton sees 1st COVID-19 outbreak at shelter

“This is an outbreak throughout the inner city. Our rescue vans are transporting people from Hope Mission, but also the Bissel Centre and Boyle Street. We are seeing a wide range of people.

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“This pandemic has hit the inner-city but I’m glad we can be here to flatten the curve,” Harding said.

“Over this last little while we have had some COVID-19 positive cases [about 10] and we have had to do contact tracing and then helping people who may have bee exposed get to isolation centres.”

As the pandemic continues, Harding said the event is essential in bringing resources and support.

“[This fundraiser] reaffirms to our clients and staff that there’s people out there that really care.”

To donate, call Hope Mission 1-855-836-HOPE (4673) or give online at hopemission.com/donate/radiothon

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