Islanders approaching goal of raising $40,000 for addiction recovery

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Close to 300 people, many wearing distinctive yellow toques, walked through the streets of Charlottetown Saturday on the "coldest night of the year walk in aid of Harvest House and the fight against addictions. 

It appears that Islanders participating in the Coldest Night of the Year walk will reach their goal of raising $40,000 for P.E.I.s hurting, hungry and homeless population.

More than 300 Islanders participated in the fundraiser walk for addiction recovery Saturday evening in Charlottetown.

Starting and ending at the Central Christian Church Hall on Kent Street, participants donned iconic yellow toques and chose whether to go on a 2 km, 5 km or 10 km walk through the city.

P.E.I. co-ordinator John Bennett said Sunday that approximately $38,000 had been raised in the province with money still coming in.

He said it looked like the group would probably reach its goal of $40,000.

"We had hoped for $40,000 but we never dreamt that really it would happen within a few weeks," said Bennett. "We're overwhelmed by the response of well-meaning Islanders that are concerned about those around them."

Funds raised in the province will go directly towards aiding the work of Harvest House P.E.I.

Bennett, who is also director of Harvest House P.E.I., said the organization’s objective is to reach out to individuals struggling with various addictions who want to break free from the lifestyle.

He said outreach program is now only able to help people on a daily basis.

The ultimate goal has been to offer a voluntary residential long-term recovery program, hopefully at both of the group’s Charlottetown and Summerside locations.

“It looks like it might be sooner rather than later,” said Bennett, adding that both locations are seven bed residences which are ready to be used. “All we need are staff.”

Bennett added that he wanted to thank the 2,000 Islanders who have helped the cause, either by running or pledging.

“We don’t typically receive government funding… we do depend on the public for support,” he said.

The walk was held in conjunction with more than 40 others across Canada on Saturday. The purpose was to offer a glimpse into what surviving on the streets during a cold Canadian winter would be like.

More than $1,357,000 has been raised for the cause nationally.

Bennett added Islanders can still donate to the cause online for the next two weeks at or

Organizations: Harvest House, Central Christian Church Hall

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Kent Street, Summerside Canada

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Recent comments

  • Stroback
    February 25, 2013 - 20:53

    " ... the organization’s objective is to reach out to individuals struggling with various addictions who want to break free from the lifestyle." Addiction is not a lifestyle but a disease. Well established and very successful methods of arresting the disease are used daily by hundreds of Islanders and have been used since the 1930's. These methods are freely available to anyone wishing to use them.

  • concerened about youth
    February 25, 2013 - 17:02

    Thank you !!! Harvest House for your compassion and care for this much needed safe home for our children to recover. I hope this works out for you, Always think positive and hire qualified staff and you will make an impact on this Island. B.C.

  • Kelly
    February 25, 2013 - 08:58

    Mt. Herbert is a short stay. Then they kick you out and you fend for yourself. There isn't much support after that.

    • Stroback
      February 26, 2013 - 05:20

      There are community based groups like Alcoholics Anonymous that are not affiliated with the government that are all about mutual support. All that is needed is to call or just show up at a meeting. See the PEI meeting list here: More information about AA at

  • Please stop
    February 25, 2013 - 07:24

    The Harvest House has been operating on University Ave. for a few years after receiving more that a million in Homeless monies from the federal government. Addictions should be left to professionals. If they want to run a boarding house fine, but leave treatment of addictions with professionals. This is not a good news story for addictions on PEI. But it is great to see people out supporting their religion.

    • Huh?
      February 25, 2013 - 08:13

      That would be fine if the "professionals" were actually doing something! Of course, I don't blame them. They simply do not have enough funding to offer enough programs. We have very little in the way of recovery housing. We need this!!

    • Ryan Webster
      February 25, 2013 - 09:05

      Just another couple of comments from people who don't know the facts about what Harvest House is and does. They do not receive funding and if they did it is minimal. Maybe a little more research and a visit to speak with John might help these people with ignorant comments understand what Harvest House does and better understand the issues facing many islanders. I personally supported Harvest House on the Coldest night, and I know that the work they are doing in Charlottetown and Summerside is needed and appreciated by those who use their services to change their lives.

  • Wonderful news
    February 25, 2013 - 05:54

    This is such wonderful news to read. I had no idea that the money raised for this walks would go directly to addiction recovery. Of course, I knew it would go to help the homeless and others less fortunate which, of course, includes addicts, but the fact that it is going directly to addiction recovery makes me even more glad that I made a donation! The Island is in such desperate need of this service. My heart hurts when I hear of more and more of our youth becoming addicted to prescription drugs with little to no help in the area of treatment and recovery programs. One only needs to read the papers to see the crimes being committed to feed their addictions. Jail does not work. It's been proven again and again. THANK YOU to Harvest House for arranging this walk and recognizing a huge problem in society and doing something about it.

  • Just the Facts
    February 24, 2013 - 18:37

    Quick do these plans for a voluntary residential long-term recovery program differ from what is currently offered, through public tax dollars, at the Mt. Herbert Addictions Center? I'd really like to know the answer.

    • There are none offered
      February 25, 2013 - 08:45

      There are no long-term residential recovery programs at Mt. Herbert. That is a big part of the problem here on PEI.