Strides Kelowna breaks record raising money to end homelessness

Striding to new records

Hundreds of Kelowna residents took to the streets Saturday afternoon to take part in the 12th annual Strides event, where Kelowna’s Gospel Mission and the rest of the Kelowna community walk and raise money to end homelessness.

Nearly 200 people showed up to Kelowna’s downtown to support the event, with people choosing to either take part in a 2 kilometre walk or the longer 5 kilometre distance.

The executive director of Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, Carmen Rempel, says it was a smashing success.

“Laurel Packinghouse is packed with people in colourful shirts and high energy. We’ve got balloons and we’ve got a lot of positive vibes happening here with over 180 people ready to walk and show support for Kelowna’s Gospel Mission,” she explained.

“It feels good because we actually increased our goal this year over last year, so where we’re sitting right now is actually more than we’ve ever made before. We are officially breaking records today.”

With more than $52,000 brought in to help end homelessness, Rempel tells Castanet the money will go towards making the Gospel Mission more than just a bed and a sandwich.

“In order to address the complex challenges that people face these days, we have to be more than served basic needs. We need to be able to provide wraparound support. These funds go towards that.”

With homelessness worse than it’s ever been before, Rempel says it’s been feeling like they’re fighting a losing battle, so when the community shows their support like the way they did today, it gives them hope for a better future.

“Events like this where you see the whole community show up is very heartwarming and goes a long, long way for our team, our staff, and those who are engaged in this work every single day,” she continued.

The Kelowna Gospel Mission has a goal of $70,000. If you wish to donate, you can contact the Kelowna Gospel Mission by phone, or check out their website.

More Kelowna News