The community of Belleville was recently presented with an enticing challenge. If it mobilized and raised $10,000 in donations for CMHA Hastings & Prince Edward Counties’ (CMHA-HPE) transitional housing program, the money would be instantly doubled.
That’s because Belleville businessman Maurice Rollins offered to match donations, dollar for dollar, if CMHA-HPE met the $10,000 goal from their recent Sleep Out! So Others Can Sleep In campaign.
CMHA-HPE executive director Sandie Sidsworth told the Belleville Intelligencer that she was floored by Rollins’ offer.
“I’m still wrapping my head around it. It’s one of those things that just hit you in the heart,” she said.
The annual event encourages participants to brave the winter cold and spend the night sleeping outside, a condition that many of the province’s homeless endure regularly. The organizers received 147 pledge sheets with $8,100 collected in donations at this year’s event.
After the one-day event, the branch spread the word about Rollins’ offer through local and social media, and the community rose to the challenge. Two days after the call to action, the branch announced that they had met their goal, raising the additional $1,900 needed to meet Rollins’ challenge.
“This community has warmed our hearts on a very cold day – YOU ALL ROCK!” the branch posted on their Facebook page.
Homelessness is frequently experienced by people with mental health issues, especially those who are on social assistance and do not have access to affordable housing. The money raised will go toward upkeep and repairs on transitional housing run by CMHA-HPE, which is an integral part of assisting homeless individuals to return to the community.
For more information about CMHA-HPE’s programs, visit their website.