On Saturday, February 25th, 2023, Helping Hands Street Mission hosted its second Coldest Night of the Year.

Coldest Night of the Year is a national fundraising campaign that encourages communities to fundraise for their local charities that serve people experiencing hurt, hunger, and homelessness. In the GALA neighbourhood, the campaign culminates in a walk down Barton Street with all the walkers stopping in at different service providers that partner with Helping Hands.

Helping Hands Street Mission is a Christian non-profit organization located on Barton and Emerald. With a focus on friendship-based support, they provide their free clothing store and café, as well as other social programs that run throughout the week. Helping Hands is a registered charity, funded by individual and corporate donations and grants. Their aim through this event was to use this campaign to engage supporters with the Barton Street community and the homelessness situation in Hamilton.

One way that Helping Hands engaged supporters with the Barton Street community was by creating mini-passports for walkers to get stamped by community partners along the route. These community partners work with Helping Hands to serve the Barton Street Community. Stops included: Hamilton Urban Core Community Health Centre, Mohawk City School, St Matthew’s House, Indwell – The Oaks, The Bridge, Helping Hands Street Mission, 541 Eatery & Exchange, the Barton Library, The Baby Depot, Habitat for Humanity and the John Howard Society.

The goal was to have 250 walkers and raise $60,000. Instead, there were over 300 walkers who raised over $80,000 for Helping Hands. Congratulations to all walkers, volunteers, and sponsors that made this year’s Coldest Night of the Year such a huge success! We also thank all the local businesses who participated by donating prizes for our walkers. It takes a village to care well for each other, and what an amazing community we have here in Barton Village!