The inaugural Square One Community Inc. Walk for Warmth in downtown Moose Jaw was a huge success.
Over 200 people braved chilly conditions Thursday night for the walk, which started at Zion United Church, continued around Crescent Park and wrapped up at St. Aidan Anglican Church. Along the way, a short memorial service was held on the steps of St. Andrew's United Church. Musicians Megan Nash and Kara Golemba performed during the closing program.
The event was held to raise money for a warming space for displaced community members and also for an emergency women's shelter.
"I'm feeling very grateful," said Square One Vice-Chair Crystal Froese. "The amount of people that we've had, over 200 people. We haven't even tallied up all of the donations but we're over $20,000 already. It was a beautiful walk, beautiful speeches from people. It really was a very moving, a very inspiring evening."
Square One Chairperson Della Ferguson said it took a team effort to organize the event.
"Everyone took on a role from gathering sponsors to registering the folks. We're so grateful to all the different churches. We chose them very carefully because they are offering food services to our friends who are unhoused. We're so grateful. Just for everyone's involvement on all layers. It was a real community effort."
In regards to the warming space and emergency women's shelter, Square One has secured a space at William Milne Place in partnership with Moose Jaw Non-Profit Housing Society.
"Now it is about funding and we're in the process now of hiring a general manager and then we'll be moving forward," noted Froese. "We're hoping in the next few weeks, we'll be able to actually let people know when our doors will be opened and then we'll be moving forward. We continually will be fundraising and we're going to be continuing to advocate with our provincial government and the federal government for funding because that is really where it's going to bring longevity to support the shelter, is through those partners."
The general manager will be responsible for developing training and policies. Applications are expected to be short-listed this week.