Out in the Cold

OITC is a grassroots event to raise money and awareness of homelessness and housing issues.

Founded in March 2007 Out in the Cold is a grassroots, student-run event held every November, where students and community members are invited to spend the night outside on campus, to raise money and awareness of homelessness issues in their local community.

We are continuing the Out in the Cold initiative by sharing a model by which other schools and universities can adapt to their respective campus and local community. www.outinthecold.ca was launched in October 2009 as an online portal to document the growth of this grassroots initiative. It is our goal to provide the tools necessary for people in other schools and universities to organize similar events in order to provide a better understanding of issues surrounding homelessness, poverty and housing stability.

Causes of homelessness include poverty and a lack of affordable housing. Root causes of poverty include low income, unemployment or underemployment, social isolation, racism, low literacy, poor education, and many more. Addressing homelessness is effective social, health, and economic policy.

After three years at the University of Waterloo, the Out in the Cold model was successfully adapted at the University of Toronto campus. In November 2009, Out in the Cold was run simultaneously at both campuses, and was organized by teams of students led by Kaija Saarinen (Waterloo) and Jenna van Draanen (Toronto).

Out in the Cold Timeline

has raised over $10,000 for organizations tackling the issues of poverty and homelessness in the local community.

March 2007: University of Waterloo

November 2007: University of Waterloo

November 2008: University of Waterloo

November 2009:

University of Waterloo & University of Toronto

www.outinthecold.ca launched

November 2010:

Our goal is to apply this model to schools and universities across Canada. Please contact us if you would like to host Out in the Cold in your local community.

Out in the Cold 2009 at The University of Toronto

Out in the Cold 2008 at The University of Waterloo

Out in the Cold 2007 at The University of Waterloo

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