Members of the Halifax Road Hammers, one of the biggest running clubs in Nova Scotia, have a busy few weeks ahead of them with their December-long initiative #StridesForShelter. This fundraising challenge will see 30 teams of four runners each running 477K. The campaign started on December 1, and the teams of Road Hammers have until the end of the month to hit that 477K goal, which represents the number of homeless people in Halifax. In total, the club will run a collective 14,310 kilometres by December 31 while raising funds and supporting an important cause along the way.
The CBC recently reported that Halifax had reached its current total of 477 people living homeless in the city. This number is more than double the 230 people who were reported homeless in October 2019. Within that group of 477 people exists a smaller population of 375 citizens who are considered chronically homeless, which means they haven’t lived in suitable housing for at least six months. Once again, this is more than double the results from the 2019 report, which said 140 people were chronically homeless.
Road Hammers head coach and founder Lee McCarron says he knows how difficult this year has been for everyone, including his athletes. “We have a group of incredible runners on our team,” he says. “This is a group of people who each have personal challenges and obstacles they have had to overcome during the pandemic, and yet they have found a way to stay focused and supportive of each other throughout. I wanted to package up that energy, grit and determination and offer it to a group of people who need our help.”
The #StridesForShelter initiative is an opportunity for the Road Hammers to team up (while still running apart) with one another and work toward a collective running goal while also giving them the chance to support a greater cause as well. “By focusing on our mindset, action and attitude we can take the best care of ourselves and do what we can to strengthen our community,” McCarron says. The proceeds from the club’s fundraiser will go straight to Shelter Nova Scotia, a nonprofit that operates six facilities in the province and supports more than 1,300 people each year.
Anyone interested in learning more about Shelter Nova Scotia or donating to the organization can click here. If you do donate, be sure to include that you’re supporting the #StridesForShelter fundraiser when asked “Who are you honouring?”