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I am very excited to be participating in the YWCA’s Keep A Roof Over Their Head campaign where I will be sleeping homeless for one night on May 2 at one of their shelters to learn about women’s vulnerabilities in homelessness and domestic violence and help the YWCA raise $4 million dollars (which is what it costs to keep a roof over the heads of homeless women).  The money raised provides immediate care kits for women upon arrival to the shelter which includes food and toiletries.  It provides them with support such as onsite counselling, referrals and advocacy in a place where they can be safe to make the changes needed for them to see a brighter future.

Why am I doing this?

Because few of us know what it is like to be homeless…. especially as a woman.  This will be an eye opener for certain.  As the Artistic Director of Invisible – a show about women’s vulnerabilities covering homelessness and domestic violence as one of our themes, I want to understand what these women experience.  Through the show, and even beyond the show, I have a great passion to do what I can to advocate for women such as these.

Some women have hard choices every day such as:  Do I keep a roof over my head, or pay my heating bill?  Do I keep a roof over my family, or leave an abusive relationship?  Do I have a place to live or buy winter clothes?  This is the reality.  I don’t want to just say, “What a shame”.  I want to do something, and that something starts with putting myself in their shoes for one night.

Why don’t we see homeless women on the streets?  They are invisible because many will return to an abusive relationship, sleep in their car, sleep in a church basement, stay with another family, or surf from one friends couch to another.  Women are called the “hidden homeless” because they don’t sleep on the streets.  It’s too dangerous for them.

In order to participate in this event, I have committed to raise $1000.  I figured if I could find 50 people who could donate $20 (tax receipts available) I’d reach that goal no problem.  If you would like to donate, click here.  Just press “Support me’ and put $20 in “other”. You’ll only be missing four $5 Starbucks visits to make a large difference.

I will be documenting the experience for your reading pleasure.  Stay tuned.