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The 5 Days Blog

The Final Moments of 5 Days

We did it! We hit $10,000 and exceeded it. I personally cannot thank everyone enough. The support has been overwhelming and I cannot wait to plan this event again next year! – Sarah von Gradulewski Co-Cordinator of 5 days Lethbridge 2017. 

Our Sleepers Final Messages:

Ashley Prefontaine: 

Finished! The end has come with tears of happiness and joy. I am so proud of reaching our goal. This week has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I have now taken the time to reflect and be so grateful for every little wonderful aspect of my own life, everything that I have always taken for granted. I am so thankful for my absolutely, completely, words-cannot-describe, wonderful friends and family, never have I ever been so aware of the incredible personal support I receive on a daily basis from the ones I love. I think the stories that I have heard over the week of personal experiences with homelessness, poverty, and lack of love is what I will take with me the most. This has truly challenged me to consider what so many people go through every day, and really think about what I can do to help. On a lighter note, my personal goal was to not get pneumonia, which I also achieved! So really, just a very successful five days all around.


Beth Hilker:

I’m so happy. I can’t stop crying. We. Exceeded. Our. Goal. I am so #blessed that I practically have no words. I want to thank so many people. First I would like to thank all the people who brought their dogs and let me love them! John and Archie, Alex and Buddy, The Donnelly’s and Andy, and Sydney and Dre and their moms (who’s names I didn’t get). I want to thank the individuals who told us their story of being homeless and using Woods homes, your stories kept me going. I want to thank the Security team here at Uleth that kept us safe. Chris, Jordan, Steph, and Ethan for stopping by and making sure we had enough food and drinks after their shifts. Courtney and friends for all 18 cups of coffee. Clay for making sure I was okay and always expressing concern. The Zoo (Shawn, John, and Connor) for having us sing, providing food and letting us canvas. Thanks Roy and Ken for telling us their stories and letting us sit at their table at Karaoke night. Eliza’s friend Amanda for the Jammers. All of our amazing guest sleepers for helping keep us safe. The unnamed Bus Driver that always checks up on us. To the brothers and sisters in Greek Life here on campus, you all helped keep us going and provided so much for us. All the amazing staff at Woods home for the amazing work they do! So much love right now <3 xoxoxoxo 

Eliza Donnelly:

WE EXCEEDED OUR GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I have never been so thankful in my life. There are so many people I would love to thank, however Beth touched on most of them, So i will just send out a huge thank you to all of you. This has been a great experience and very eye opening. I will definitely miss everyone stopping by. A huge thank you goes out to Sarah and Janelle for organizing this event and the countless hours they put into everything. I also will miss Ashley, Jaren, and Beth; we have become quite the family and hope to stay in touch. I can’t wait to go home and shower, Lots of Love to you all.<3

Night #5 Blog

Max Mykytyzyn: 

This week there were a lot of moments when I thought to myself, “Why am I doing this?” And I always thought of this story:
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!” -adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley
If this campaign makes a difference in just one person’s life, everything will have been worth it. Yes, I haven’t showered in 4 days and probably have enough lint in my belly button to fix the hole in my pants.
But everything I experienced pales in comparison to what some children, real children, have to go through every day, every week, every month right here in Saskatoon. Because I spent this week making a difference in the community, it will be one of my favourite weeks of my undergrad. Being a homeless participant this week taught me to not take the little things for granted and appreciate everything you have.
I’d like to thank Kim and all of the OC for everything they did this week for us, and to my fellow HP’s, you all rock and I couldn’t have asked for a better team!
One last thought. This campaign only lasts one week, but EGADZ operates all year. If you are ever in the position to donate, they have a wish-list on their website for supplies they need. Many people said we were brave this week, but this only took 5 days of our time. For EGADZ, they have committed themselves week after week to helping Saskatoon’s youth, and they deserve all of the respect in the world!
The first thing I’m going to do when I become not homeless? Pet my dog and eat a cheeseburger!

Nickol Saenz:

Dear community,
This is my last night sleeping outside and my last post 🙁 … I feel so excited to take a shower and see the results of our campaign. We have been working so hard for all of you. I feel so proud and thankful for my team and everyone who have donated.
Today, I were in the middle of a hall smiling and shaking my box for some change. I realized the different reactions and faces of people. We have the ones that feel sorry for you but do not donate!, or the open hearth ones that want a different world [thank you for your existence] But, the ones that really impacted me were the ones that turn their faces and preferred to ignored me and with that preferred to ignore all the issues in this society. For those who preferred to live ignoring and oppressing minorities, let me tell you we still here and we do not gonna give up. We are part of this society!!! 👊 so you might want to look outside of your bubble and wake up, we need to unify!!…
Tonight, we are going to have more members of the campaign sleeping outside with us. I am excited! Hopefully I will no get again a windy corner. 🖖 ‘I apologize in advance’ with the OC and HP’s that are sleeping tonight with us: if you hear me scratching my hair or body, I am sorry is because I feel really itchy of not taking a shower this week. oops. By the way, we had a good sleep last night I heard our guest and some HP’s snoring deeply through the night. Probably, I were too. Really good spot to sleep. Let’s see how it goes tonight.
Ps: Please everyone help us tomorrow to meet our goal of 20,000, it is really a good cause! we want children contributing to the society!! 🙂
Peace and love !! 🌎💟 
[sorry for too many emojis. I like them!]

Robert Mohrbutter: 
I like to think that nobody reads these blogs because it makes it easier to write what is really on my mind. With the end of the campaign in sight I can’t help but think about how I got involved to begin with. When Kim, the project manager of the campaign this year, asked me to participate I kind of agreed without contemplating it too much. I figured it would be an interesting experience and maybe look good on my resume. In the weeks leading up to the campaign I couldn’t help but think, “I don’t know if I care enough about homelessness to be doing this”. Now on the last night of the campaign that could not be further from the truth. The first thing that begin to make me care about the cause was our visit to EGADZ. Hearing first-hand the horror stories and success stories of homeless and at-risk youth here in Saskatoon swayed me a bit. The EGADZ staff were so obviously passionate about their work and while it was inspiring I was still lacking that passion. Then the campaign started and I slept outside in the Saskatchewan cold for the first time. It was one of the worst nights of my life. After that “holy f*** how can anyone sleep like that” moment I began to understand and care even more. Throughout the week there has been no shortage of unpleasant moments and feelings building up the capacity for me to begin to empathize with the homeless. Visits from Kroeker and Ryan (a former homeless participant) continued to drill in the fact that the campaign isn’t about me at all. It’s about the kids, teenagers and young adults who need the support of organizations like EGADZ. So many of them were born into bad situations or have mental illnesses and they need help. Without support they don’t stand a chance. Today thinking about why I’m participating I don’t mind being sleep deprived, sore and stanky. I’m proud to have participated this year because in my heart I know that this a great cause. With that I would like to thank everybody who worked so very hard for the campaign, everybody who donated and of course the people who work day in and day out at EGADZ. With a very special thanks to Kimberley, Shaylin and Sean!
Sincerely (seriously sincerely),
Robert Mohrbutter

Jazmin Evers:
Our last night! I can’t even begin to know what to say. In some ways this week has flown by so fast, yet in other ways it has lasted forever (looking at you, Sunday night that just wouldn’t end). There are so many things I want to say about this campaign and the amazing experience that it has been. There are so many little things I could mention that have made this past week as stellar as it’s been (for instance, giving up personal electronics means I haven’t heard about a certain American who has a toupee and skin as orange as our shirts in five entire days), but I’m trying to write a blog post here, not a novel to rival War and Peace.
Let’s kick things off with some thank yous. Thank you to Mama Kim for literally everything you do for us, and the campaign as a whole. You are so dedicated to this cause and your passion and commitment shine through in all that you take on. The campaign is going to miss you next year. Keep on keepin’ on!
Thank you to Papa Shay and Papa Sean. You guys rock – you keep us on track and keep us motivated. Thanks for tucking us in at night and waking us up in the morning. Even on the most uncomfortable of nights (looking at you again Sunday night), it’s reassuring to have you guys around and know that not only did you make it through nights like these but you came back to the campaign again.
If we’re going with the family theme, shout-out to Grandpa Ryan. Thanks for your evening visits– you motivate us to make 5 Days bigger and better than ever and remind us how incredible EGADZ is for Saskatoon.
Speaking of EGADZ, huge thank you to you as well! You do so much good in this world and make a difference in the lives of so many individuals and still somehow have time to bring us hot chocolate and sandwiches. Your enthusiasm is contagious – never stop doing what you do.
Thank you to the rest of our 5 Days OC family: all of our finance, community, donations, social media, and public relations aunts, uncles, and cousins. You do so much behind-the- scenes work that people may not realize and you’re our favourite support network for the campaign.
Thank you to Dale, Kroeker, campus security, my profs, my friends and family (the blood kind this time), the USask student body, our sponsors, and the 5 Days for the Homeless national campaign. I know I’m forgetting at least 648, 937 people who have made this campaign into the week that it was, but whoever you are, know that you made a difference to everyone involved.
Tomorrow is our last day, so dig deep into the sides of your couch, skip your morning coffee, whatever you need to do – donate and help us meet our goal. It’s for the kidz.

Crystal Lau: 

Today was such a good day!!
Let’s start with last night! We had a roof over our heads, we shared secrets and told gross stories as bedtime stories, and one of the campus safety guy, Seth, came and told us poop stories as bed time stories!! HAHA! We had our celebrity sleepover, with his amazing voice he told us about college football poop stories as bed time stories as well! LOL!
Even though I woke up a few times in the night because of the cold, I still think that it was a decent sleep – as good as it can be in the cold dark nights..
My day has just went smoothly ever since! I went to do classroom presentations in the morning, then to my class. I brought my little donation house to the forum for my election (the other campaign thing I am doing), then at the bus stops during “rush (to go home and nap) hours, and then to a council meeting! Lots of people outside of ESB learned about 5 days for the homeless!
I had a performance tonight at a bar, so papa Shad went with me for “supervision”, I invited him on stage as my “live prop”, and we promoted 5D4H AGAIN! Passed the house around and lots of people donated! I didn’t realize it was a competition, but if I do win anything, I will donate it to E-Gadz!
I am excited for our last night, as it’s our OC sleepovers! I CANNOT wait to go home and shower tomorrow, then to sleep with my 3 lovely kitties tomorrow night! I miss them so so much!! <3
When I get my phone back tomorrow, I will challenge all of the candidates that are running in the USSU election (my other campaign stuff), to top a donation from my campaign team, and hopefully do a last PUSH to the campaign!!!
I am excited to expand 5D4H to not just mainly ESB, but to the whole University next year!! I will hope to challenge our next 5D4H to have an HP from different colleges! Not only will that increase the awareness, between different colleges they will be competing between each other!! I have lots of great ideas and I cannot wait for 5D4H 2018!!!
Let’s hope for the best for our last night! AND, I am thankful that I can say “This will be the last night I have to sleep outside in the cold”. Not everyone has the privilege to say that.
“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing isn’t enough, we must DO!”
Night <3
P.S. I made sure I tapped my pants again before I go on stage, because I have two holes since the second day…. and they just kept growing, they are massive now. 🙁
Thank you!

Days 3 + 4 – U of A


Thanks to Michelle from the U of A for sleeping out with us! Her wisdom and stories from past campaigns really raised our spirits through the night.  

Today was our barbecue event, which was a huge success! Special thanks to Dewey’s for providing the burgers on such short notice. As usual, we ran our classroom runs, and really emphasized reaching a diverse range of students from all faculties. 

As it is technically the halfway point of the campaign, I think this day was difficult for many of us. While we have adjusted to the “5 Days Life”, it has been challenging to balance all of our responsibilities to the campaign as well as to our academic commitments. It really puts into perspective the mental and physical toll that an unstable living situation can create. I’m sure we all appreciate our support structures even more, and are empathetic to the struggles of youth at risk knowing that we can never truly simulate homelessness.


Tonight is our sleep-a-thon! We’re really looking forward to having our friends join us for a night.

As the campaign comes to a close, we’d like to give thanks to all the people that have supported the campaign through their donations, their time, and their willingness to be more aware of youth homelessness. We appreciate the opportunity to facilitate rich conversations about YESS, and the issue of youth homelessness in Edmonton. One thing that people are surprised to hear is the gap in services for youth that YESS fills. Between the ages of 16-24, YESS is one of the main supports for youth at risk!

Goodnight everyone! 



Thursday March 16 2017!!!

Today slowed down a little for everyone, but State & Main brought food to the sleepers, and Wood’s Homes brought breakfast and then stopped by to visit the sleepers and say thanks for everything. They packed along games and coffee for the sleepers. Last night after they wrote the blog posts, Janelle gave the sleepers some letters from the volunteers who are sleeping from the University of Manitoba. I had the unique opportunity of seeing some of them in Winnipeg before I came home to run the event. They loved it. Finally, between Jonathon and Everrett, the winner was……..

JONATHON DIAZ with over $500. That being said, between the two of them they started a new wager. If between the two they received over $750, they would BOTH wear a dress, and sorry guys, but you had better get to the store because not only did they reach $750, they raised together just over $800. Thank you so much for the support!!!


The Sleepers would like to say:

Beth Hilker: 

I love the U of M letters! I’m so glad we did it. I hope they like ours too! The weather’s been so nice and we got a good sleep finally, but the wind picked up today giving me a bit of a headache. Only one more sleep though! By this time (6:25pm) I will be clean and in a shower… Well hopefully. The David’s tea has been a god sent and I’m so grateful for my friends and their donations and support! Thanks guys! 
Woods homes came by today (which I almost napped right through) and we got to talk to the staff there and those people are some of the kindest people and I’m happy that we are supporting them! 
No dogs today sadly 🙁

Ashley Prefontaine:

Getting to be just way too tired all day every day. My brain is turning out some pretty interesting thoughts and behaviours. Wood’s Homes came by and talking to them was incredible! Hearing about all of the work they do has really completely upped my spirits. They dropped off games for us! Which is something that was unexpected and entirely perfect. We have been playing a movie trivia game, and I thought I was pretty up on my film knowledge, but Beth and Jaren have been absolutely embarrassing me! Hanging out with the guest sleepers every night has been one of the most fun parts of this whole thing. Seeing two new people come in fresh faced and enthusiastic really helps keep you going. Everrett and Jonathon were so much fun last night, I heard some hilarious stories and watching them compete to raise donations was fantastic. One more night. Already dreaming of a hot shower and my bed. The end of the five days is actually pretty bittersweet, I’m really going to miss hanging out with these guys every day, this is definitely an experience that I am going to recommend to everyone.

Jaren Robinson:

Today was good, but I’m finally starting to feel a little tired like I’ve been told I would. Normally I would attribute this to things like staying up too late, or would probably be able to find something I’ve been doing that I could have avoided, but I really think that all of the walking around, braving the cold at night, sleeping on the hard ground, etc. is just starting to get to me.

I would hardly call what we’re doing anything close to what experiencing homelessness is really like, but even still the lifestyle is starting to seriously affect me after just 4 nights. Most people who are actually in this position have to brave this for far longer, and they don’t have the security that we do. We know that we’ll have some sort of donations every day, food, money, etc. We know that there are people watching over us, trying to protect us, trying to make sure we eat and stay healthy. We know that tomorrow, we get to go home. That security is not common at all within the homeless population. It’s a struggle after 4 days with all of those assurances, and I’m glad that I’m able to do something, however little it may be, to make sure that less people, especially youth, have to deal with this. 

Despite the week starting to drag on me a bit, I feel as if I’m still in relatively high spirits. Our guest sleepers last night were amazing at helping with that. We were telling each other stories, laughing, playing music, and having all sorts of fun. They had their fun little bet and, along with their natural likeable and outgoing personalities, they were able to help us raise an amazing amount of money yesterday and today. Considering it’s one of the last days of the week. what they were able to contribute was monumental. The new sleepers just showed up and are ready for what the rest of the week has to offer.

It’s a little bit bittersweet that the week will be coming to an end tomorrow. It’s our last night together at our little box. I’m definitely excited for a hot shower, a real bed, and a return to technology/social media. For some reason I can’t help but feel like I’m going to miss this a bit though. Over the past 4 nights and days, I’ve become very close with the other sleepers. Not to mention our coordinators as well, the support and encouragement that Janelle and Sarah have shown us has been overwhelming. That tight-knit support system we’ve had for each other is about to go away, and I only hope I can keep in contact with them after this. Every one of them is an amazing person, and I’m sure they’ll all go on to do even more amazing things with the rest of their lives. 

Eliza Donnelly:

Last night was so much fun my parents came to see me and brought me bath bombs for when I get to go home. They also brought my dog to come give me cuddles, it was sad to see them go.  I also had my friend from Calgary  come and visit which was a great surprise.  Paradise Canyon donated us pops which was awesome, and lots of people dropped us off hot chocolate and coffee. 

This morning was beautiful until the wind picked up, but we got an incredible amount of donations today. Woods Homes staff swung by to thank us for coming which was awesome, especially since so many of them came. Leading into tonight it is very bittersweet, as much as I would love to go home and shower I will truly miss the other sleepers and everyone that came to visit. Thank you all for your care and support.

Guest Sleepers:

Alex Glydon: MSS – VP Finance, and President of the Accounting Club

Sandeep Parmar: Incoming ULSU VP Academic:

Alex Glydon:

I am extremly excited to be a part of the 5 days for the Homeless campaign at the U of L. My brother was a sleeper in 5 days in 2014 and has spoken to me many times about the wonderful experience. I cannot wait to experience it myself. 

Sandeep Parmar: 

I am immensely excited to be part of the 5 Days for the Homeless campaign because I think it is incredibly important to help those on the streets. I know my contribution might be small, but every penny counts. I look forward to getting to know the people that I will be raising money with. I think I’ll also get more insight on what it really means to be homeless. What I least look forward to though is the cold. 


Night #4 Blog

Crystal Lau: 

This was such an amazing way to spend my birthday! I woke up to my theme song “Don’t rain on my parade” between my 5D4H fam, I received a bday song by a class for 200+ people after a classroom announcement, and I received a lot of personal, face-to-face birthday messages rather than liking the posts on Facebook!
Although I didn’t get to go out, or put on a dress (because I love dresses so much), or see my cats on my birthday, I am happy to see how much people have donated through my birthday! I talked about different kinds of homelessness at a Press Conference for Usask Matters this morning, and promoted 5D4H!
With all the stressful things going on, the two campaigns that I am doing, I forgot to eat, and didn’t know how hungry I was until after a stressful forum!
Last night, we slept in front of Education – it was windy 🙁 I woke up and was trying to find out what time it was, but I guess my watch froze, it just stopped working.. So now I am without time. What is time, anyway.
P.S. I received a birthday card, it was on a loose-leaf and it wrote “This is the type of birthday card a homeless person would get”. It was from my cats Loaf, Gus & Renesmee! <3
And I guess, I received a birthday e-card, from my dentist………..   
P.P.S I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22 ~

Robert Mohrbutter:

Today was yet another eye-opening day. I had some further glimpses into what it must be like to be homeless and as you can imagine it did not feel good. Wearing shoes almost all day long and the same pair of socks for three days straight meant that two things were happening to my feet. First they were emitting noxious gas and secondly they were swampier than the Everglades. I couldn’t handle it anymore so I decided I had to wash my feet. This proved to be difficult. I found a nice private wheelchair accessible bathroom where I could try to attempt to bathe. First I took my shirt off and splashed some water at my pits which really didn’t do much. Then I moved on to my stinky feet. So there I was shirtless, one foot in the sink, washing it with hand soap and then somebody tried the door… I muttered a sheepish, “occupied” and thought to myself “how in the world did I end up like this?” I found it upsetting knowing that anyone without a shower would be using public bathrooms like this on a regular basis. It was not a proper substitute for a shower by any means. A shower is yet another thing most people take for granted but being without one is heartbreakingly horrible. With my clean-ish feet I headed over to the Taco in a Bag sale that 5 days was putting on today. I figured some nice person would surely buy me some lunch if I smiled and asked nicely. Nobody did. I didn’t give up though. I made a cardboard sign explaining my situation and headed back to the sale. People looked at it and smiled and went on with their day. Nobody ended up donating me anything. I felt sad, neglected, dejected, rejected and most of all unloved. At that moment it felt like I was alone in the world and not a soul cared about me (even though I know I have lots of friends and family who love and care about me). Reflecting on it just makes me even more upset because the homeless must feel similar to that all too often. It breaks my heart in half knowing that disadvantaged, at-risk and homeless youth are suffering and feeling like I was today. I get to go home on Friday but for them it is a reality. Think about that for a moment. Luckily Nickol and I found some free sandwiches shortly after. I don’t think a ham and cheese has ever made me feel better than the one I had today did. With my spirits lifted and food in my belly the rest of the day was not so bad. But those two tiny peeks into the life of homelessness strongly affected me today. It seems with each passing day I begin to understand the struggles and care more and more for the homeless. It makes me very proud to be a part of the campaign. On that note, don’t forget to donate and I’ll be back tomorrow for day four.

Nickol Saenz:

How to shower with a bottle and the hand-wash at university?
Well, pretty simple, but you might not be successful at all. This was my 3th day without a shower hence a decided to get into a washroom a try to clean myself a bit. I filled my bottle water, took some hand soap, put my head inside the small sink and start to wash my hair; however,I could not get all my hair in there and also the hand soap was not a really a good idea. My hair is worst now, I think I left some hand soap. Oh! plus I could start doing some dreadlocks!!
 Also, I do not recommend to wash your feet and arms when people is around. They will stare at you saying in their head you are kooky!! Anyways, I felt a little bit more clean afterwards. But, at this point I am dying to take a shower, which make me think about the absolute homeless. I am so glad Egadz is out reaching for them.
Today, it was a good day full of donations. Taco in a bag was a hit! [ I felt so bad in the evening when Robbie made a big sign to get a taco by donation and he did not get any. hahaha luckily, we found some sandwiches later on 😄 🙂 ]
Hp’s are looking forward to get some company from the OC tomorrow night!

Max Mykytyzyn: 

We are now past the half way point of the campaign and I can’t believe it! Things are chugging along just fine. I was feeling pretty down in the dumps first thing in the morning because I woke up and realized my sleeping bag zipper is broken, and that’s why I was so cold last night. Apparently I have this thing where I break every single zipper on everything I own. Doesn’t matter if it’s a jacket, a backpack or apparently now a sleeping bag. I spent most of the day with other members of the OC in the tunnel shaking our boxes asking for change. They all made it really fun and they were full of positive energy. Tomorrow night is their chance to sleep with us outside and I’m looking forward to seeing them all there!!! We also had a taco in a bag sale today but I don’t really wanna taco ‘bout it. I didn’t have any money to buy a taco, and nobody bought me one. All I got to do was hold a sign with an arrow to direct people there! One of the things about being homeless I’m starting to struggle with is the lack of privacy. Not having a quiet place to relax and unwind can really grind a person down. After three days I’m starting to feel that way, so I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone who truly doesn’t have a place to go. For those wondering about the hole in my pants, the duct tape is still holding, but it looks like the other side is about to rip now too. Another developing story is how bad my shoes and toque smell. The shoes were expected but the toque? Never in a million years did I expect to be like a Green Bay Packers fan, but I think people are gonna think I’m a cheesehead if they get too close.

Jazmin Evers: 

Today I’ve been thinking a lot about the effects of settler colonialism and how Canada’s history contributes to current problems of homelessness. This is in part because settler colonialism is a frequent topic in many of my courses. However, it is something that more of Saskatoon’s population needs to consider on a regular basis. I acknowledged on our first night that we’ve been sleeping on Treaty 6 land, both here in my blog and in our group vlog. This is important because failure to recognize where we are located, in a historical perspective, only perpetuates the stigma against homelessness that is so prevalent in contemporary culture.
We must accept that homelessness is not an individual’s fault. Homelessness is the result of failures at a systemic level – settler colonialism, racism, sexism, ableism, capitalism, the list goes on…
Erasing the stigma starts with you. Think about your actions, your words, your inner beliefs; are they informed by prejudice or ignorance?

Wednesday March 15, 2017!

Today was amazing! We threw a barbecue today and raised nearly $600. Thanks again to Aramark for the Hotdogs and buns and Frito-Lay for all the chips! Our guest sleepers last night competed to see who could raise the most amount of money, and together they almost raised $1,000 between the two! The tally is in and the winner is…….


As Wednesday night nears to an end, our sleepers have a few things to say!

Ashley Prefontaine:

It’s gotten to the point where I’m so used to being outside in the cooler temperature that whenever I go inside for class I’m so warm that my face is entirely red; so I’m just kind of that smelly, red-faced, make-up-less, hair-a-disaster kid in the corner, it’s fine. We received letters from the sleepers at U of M, and they were so amazing and so inspiring. Shout out to my mom who sent us a wonderful message that was relayed to us by Janelle, we were all so appreciative! Also a huge thanks to Dustin and all the campus security crew here, working so hard to make sure we are safe! Dustin dropped by today and gave us a dozen donuts (which I’m still not sick of, I’m pretty sure it’s not possible for me to get sick of donuts).  He regularly brightens my day! Eliza’s friend, Amanda brought us Kool-aid Jammers and Sunny-D last night!!! She is now one of my absolute favourite people! Nancy, our guest sleeper, also brought chicken noodle soup from Tim Hortons, which we absolutely fantastic. I have discovered a new secret to keeping my feet crazy toasty at night, involving multiple pairs of toe warmer pads and three pairs of socks, so I’m pretty set for the next two nights, foot-wise. So, basically everything’s coming up Ashley!

Beth Hilker: 

So. Many. Dogs. Thanks Alex Sim and Buddy, John and Archie, Nancy and her babies, and The Donnelly’s and Andy. The dogs make me so happy. If anyone else wants to bring their dogs by, I would not oppose. 
On a more serious(ish) note, we raised so much money today! Thanks Royal, Jacquelyn, and Nancy for becoming our family for the night. Mucho love!

Jaren Robinson:

Today was amazing. Last night I went to sleep with a bit of a headache, but I was feeling a lot better this morning. The temperature was nice, and I woke up well rested and ready to go. I mostly stayed at the box until we started the barbecue, but Royal bought us breakfast at the university lounge/bar which was amazing. I haven’t had actual breakfast food for a while, so it was nice to be able to get that. 

Once we had eaten and I had collected donations for a bit, we were ready to start the barbecue. We had to go to pick up the barbecue itself at about 11, and this was a much larger task than I had expected it to be. Once we had gone and grabbed it, we faced the task of pushing this very large barbecue all the way up the hill from University Hall to the bus loop where we were setting up. It didn’t seem that bad at first, but there were some steep sections  and by the time we got it to the top, I was light headed and my legs felt like noodles.  The barbecue itself was relatively successful, and I think a lot of it had to do with the extra timbits somebody had donated, and the many boxes of chips that our guest sleeper Nancy had helped arrange for us.

Our guest sleepers yesterday were all so passionate and serious about helping our cause and raising donations as best they could, and I’m sure that fire in their hearts helped us sleepers stay energized and ready to go as well. The guest sleepers so far have been great at gathering donations and bringing a fresh face, but I think I’m most grateful for their company and ability to keep us sleepers excited about this amazing cause that we are working toward.

Eliza Donnelly:

Last night was awesome, we took turns going to karaoke on campus and doing songs to ask for donations. Royal, our guest sleeper, and I sang a duet and collected money from almost every one in the place. Huge shout out to Royal for getting the nerve to sing karaoke. Our other guest sleepers were also incredible, as Jacquelyn raised more money in one day than any of us. Nancy was also amazing she was very friendly and outgoing, as well as one of our biggest supporters. The BBQ today was an incredible success and the community has been so generous. Lots of love to all of you cheering us on!

Guest Sleepers Tonight are both from ORS:

Everett Blakley:

As a fifth year student, I’ve seen several years of the 5 Days for the Homeless campaigns go on, and I’ve always wanted to participate. This year I finally decided to sign up, and I’m very excited to help bring some donations in. Myself and another member of ORS, Jonathan Diaz, will be guest sleeping tonight, with a friendly competition going on between Jon and I to see who can get the most donations, I’m hoping to raise as much money for this cause as possible. Somewhat because if Jon wins, I have to wear a dress to our Sunday meeting. But mostly for the great cause that it is supporting. 

Jonathan Diaz: 

Hello hello! If you’ve read Everett’s post, then you’ll know of the bet between the two of us. Whoever raises the least amount of money has to wear a dress at our council meeting. I think I can rock a dress, but I think it would be amazing to see Everett in one.  Other than that, I feel as though this will be a very humbling and interesting experience, and I urge you to come on by and donate whatever you can. Every little bit counts and makes a difference!



Night #3 Blog

Crystal Lau: 

People from E-Gadz visited us last night? We had a wake up song this morning? I don’t recall any of that, because I HAD A GOOD SLEEP!!  From the exhaustion the night before, all of us fell asleep pretty quick and did not wake up too much in the middle of the night. We were warm, and not on snow.
I had a long day, and I am thankful that we all had a good sleep, or else I wouldn’t have been able to pull off today at all the tasks at all!
I am excited to watch the press conference we did, it was on Facebook live, but I don’t get social media until Friday!
I am also running for a different campaign at the University and we had our first forum today (and it was Live on Facebook as well) – I think I did great!!  We will be doing our vlogging live on Facebook tonight – the third time being on Facebook live today!
**To mom:
Thank you for giving birth to me 22 years ago around this time (HK TIME)! I won’t be able to talk to you until Friday! Love you!
Night world <3 (insert snapchat filter, sleepy face emoji, red heart…. share that on Facebook then share it again on Instagram…)

Nickol Saenz: 

3 night to go!
The spot that we found from last night was pretty cozy and warm. The noisy alarm for the wake up call was sounding like a melody to keep sleeping. It was a good day, full of donations except for the guy at Tims that make me told him all the story about our amazing center, Egadz and after buying his coffee he did not even donate a cent. Not nice! However; it make so happy the  girl that asked me in the class how to get involve next year 🙂 
I hope we find a decent spot for tonight. See you guys, keep warm because definitely we will not be at all. I am crossing fingers to be in the middle of the others hp’s.
[ Esta es mi señal de vida: caso de que quizas vean esto los amo padres! Espero que todo este bien.]

Jazmin Evers:

‘Twas the night before Wednesday and all though the team;
We saw USask generosity and our faces did beam.
The monies were counted, by finance with care,
 And we knew it was worth all the cold we would bear.
The participants were nestled all snug on the ground, 
Dreaming of ice cream and perogies, served by the pound.
I wrapped up in my parka and pulled down my cap; 
I settled my brain for a long winter’s nap. 
When the garbage truck drove, there arose such a clatter, 
We sprang from the snow to see what was the matter. 
Then sank back to our pillows with a sense of relief,
And re-warmed our feet with extra copies of The Sheaf.
The morning soon came, and with it a new day, 
Music awoke us, and a fellow named Shay.
So we proclaimed to the world our new battle shriek,
Jazmin Evers and Clement C. Moore

Max Mykytyzyn: 

Last night we found an amazing spot to sleep. It gave us protection from the wind and it was completely flat so we could all stay under the tarp and be warm. The only drawback was a huge crash when a garbage truck came by, but that’s to be expected when you sleep outside in public. Our day started with the breakfast of champions, day old pizza. Nothing like a slice of meat lover’s pizza in the morning! Today I was met with some resistance when I was raising money. I was warned it would happen, but to have your prof aggressively refuse to let you do a class announcement is still surprising. There were also many people who gave me the cold shoulder while walking out and about on campus this afternoon. If this was the only way someone had to raise money for themselves, I could understand how it would be hard to be optimistic about yourself and your future after even a few rejections. That’s why EGADZ is so great, because they offer many different programs to support youth and guide them to become contributing citizens of Saskatoon. But Saskatoon’s giving spirit shone through again and it felt like we brought in a lot of donations today. We haven’t heard our new donation total but hopefully it’s high! At the end of the day that’s what matters and I hope our efforts will be able to really help someone.

Robert Mohrbutter:

The list of things I’m missing is getting longer every day. A few things include coffee, my dog, my bed, eggs for breakfast, showers, and last but not least wiping my butt with something other than 1-ply. All these things I usually take for granted but being without them really sucks. Last night I actually got a decent amount of sleep but I still feel absolutely drained. You know how great it feels to just plop down on the couch after long day and just lay there for a while? I’ve been craving that since Monday morning. Being at the university constantly there is nowhere I feel I can get proper rest and relaxation. I want to go home. I like my home. I can’t imagine what it is like to not have a place to call home. Unfortunately that is the cold reality for many homeless and at-risk youth. Don Meikle, executive director at EGADZ, explained to us that for so many of these kids all they want is a home. A home being a place where you can feel comfortable, safe and have a big comfy couch to enjoy. EGADZ provides (and hopes to provide more) “homes” for youth and young mothers with children here in Saskatoon. Being without a “home” these past few days has shown me how important mine is to me. In terms of the campaign everything is going well and everyone involved is working hard (especially those counting up all the cashola). Talking about the campaign with people today was interesting to say the least. Somebody asked me where I was sleeping tonight and I could honestly say, “I don’t know”. That was a weird feeling. “I don’t know” has been the answer to a lot of questions lately: what are you going to eat for dinner? What is going on in the news? Does anybody actually read these blogs? And on that bombshell, it is time for us to end, thank you all and good night!

5D4H UBC: Lessons from Day 2

March 15. 1:51AM – Today I met a young fellow by the name of Jay. He seemed a little rough around the edges, and I later learned he’d been avoided by some of the others who he made feel uncomfortable. I decided to take the time to get to know him and soon found out he was currently homeless, at the age of 21. Over the course of the day we got to spend some more time together and talk about some really important issues. I learned about Jay, both the good and the bad, and worked on moving past the images and stereotypes set by society on him based on his appearance and mannerisms. Perhaps the most moving moment of the day was when we sat down for dinner. As I began to eat, he paused, asked me why I didn’t pray before eating since I was religious, and then requested that we said a short prayer together. We both bowed our heads and thanked God for the things we were grateful for, an experience I’ll never forget. This rough, sometimes delinquent, homeless youth was also strikingly humble, philosophical, sociable, and kind. We had so many commonalities, separated by the fact that I have a permanent home and he doesn’t. The message this day taught me and the rest of the 5 Days team was that we need to work on being open and receptive to those around us, that we cannot box the homeless youth we’re fighting for into our own ‘perfect images’ which ignore the multivalent nature of human beings and their struggles, or try to deal with homeless youth theoretically without taking the time to get to know them and their stories. By not closing ourselves off to people based on initial judgements, learning to appreciate others – warts and all, and really trying to engage with those around us, I believe we can imbue this campaign with a truly powerful social consciousness.

– Armaan Kassam, External Director

5 Days in a nutshell: "Overprivileged youth helping underprivileged youth" // photo: Christina Lam
Armaan making a sign. 5 Days in a nutshell: “Overprivileged youth helping underprivileged youth” // photo: Christina Lam

Tuesday! 2017!

Today was a good one, we had the Lethbridge Herald come by, Global News, and Hudson’s Pub donated the lunch to the sleepers. Sonya von Heyking – a U of L professor – walked around campus with our sleepers asking the faculty members and other connections for donations so a BIG shoutout to her! We had a very generous family donate dinner for the sleepers last night, and a nice young lady donate a bunch of supplies for everyone.

 Our sleepers would like to say:

Ashley Prefontaine:

Last night was way warmer, and we had my friend, Katelyn Pelton as a guest sleeper with us! All of us stayed up late just talking and telling stories, which was amazing. Was pretty cold very early this morning, but later this afternoon the sun actually came out! I have definitely started to smell, which is fantastic. Only a matter of time before no one will sit near me in class… Been crazy tired today, hoping to get a really good sleep tonight. Absolutely loving this experience, will definitely be talking about this the rest of my life.

Eliza Donnelly:

Last night was pretty great, definitely warmer than the first night. We stayed up quite late exchanging stories of our best and worst days. It was so amazing because we ended up knowing each other so well and were able to relate so well with each other. Waking up this morning we found coffee, yogurt, and toe warmers all laid out for us that were donated anonymously while we were asleep. The community is all coming together in such a terrific way, I am so glad to be part of this wonderful event. I can’t wait to see what tomorrows barbecue brings.

Jaren Robinson:

Last night was a great bonding moment for all of us. We shared stories, laughed, cried, and all of us sleepers grew very close. The weather was much milder and that allowed us to really enjoy the moment more than the first night. I’m sure most of us went to sleep with a happy spirit, and optimism about the rest of the week. I know I did at least. 

The forecast had predicted a chance of rain, but aside from a few stray drops that made us worry, we woke up dry and ready for another day. I woke up to a generous donation of coffee and yogurt, but I let the rest of the sleepers stay cozy in their sleeping bags for a bit longer before we enjoyed our donation. I didn’t have any class today, so I spent a lot of today hanging out at the box, and collecting donations around campus as well. While the donations did slow down a bit, I found that I almost had more people making donations, to me at least, today. This may have been a byproduct of the fact that I had more time to go around collecting donations, but it was nice to see that we were mainly greeted with the same amount of generosity and concern that we saw yesterday. 

Tomorrow we are having our barbecue, a lot of people have expressed interest as we advertised it today. I hope that we can see it pull in a lot of donations to make up for any vigour lost by the general population on the much less glamorous “second day” as compared to the first. The weather keeps getting better and better, the donations keep coming in. This week is off to a great start and I can’t wait to see what else we have in store.

Beth Hilker:

We had an amazing night, it was nice and warm and we had some nice icebreaker stories and it brought me closer to the other sleepers. I’m starting to get on a sleep deprivation high a little bit so I’m getting a lil weird. We met a lady who used Woods Homes and she dropped of a little care package for us with some kleenex, pads, painkillers, and mouth wash. I’m so happy these people are coming forward and telling us their stories. It really helps me know that I am doing a good thing. We are getting closer and closer to our goal and I’m getting more and more anxious but excited. I can’t wait to see what the next few days bring! I’m also excited to read the letters that U of M sent us. I think that this pen pal thing is so cute and I hope we all get warm fuzzies from it all! 



Our Guest sleepers for tonight are:

Royal Adkin: SU member and very involved with the university

Jacquelyn Walker: MSS president and also very involved.

Nancy: A representative from Frito-Lay and PepsiCo. A HUGE shoutout to her for getting us chips for the BBQ tomorrow, clothing for Woods Homes and Cash donations from her coworkers <3

Our goal is to see who raised more and you will find out tomorrow!!

Our Guest sleepers would like to say:

Royal Adkin:

Tonight, I began something that I’ve wanted to do since I started University. I get to sleep outside on campus by participating in 5 Days for the Homeless! I signed up for 5 Days for the Homeless because approximately one year ago, my house burned down. I was up in Calgary attending the Alumni and Friends Dinner and Gala when I received the news. The amazing support that I received from the Lethbridge community in mere hours was what kept me and my roommates going for the rest of the school year. However, there are people that are homeless everyday and I think that these people need the same amount of support from wonderful organizations like MSS and Wood’s Homes! I’m excited for the rest of the week! THANK YOU 5 Days for the Homeless!

Jacquelyn Walker:

I am so honoured to be a part of this amazing campaign. I can still remember volunteering with the Management Students’ Society at the donation table my very first year of school and thinking THIS IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE. I had such a long day at the school today and I didn’t realize how much I looked forward to and appreciated my bed until that no longer was an option. There are so many things that we all have to be thankful for and this event really brings a great light to it. I know I am only spending one night out tonight but the weight that this one night has already had on me is amazing. This is the perfect end to my degree at the University of Lethbridge. Thank you Woods Homes for helping the individuals who have choice taken away from them. 


Day 2 – 5 Days U of A

The campaign has started off wonderfully!

Unfortunately, we got caught up in the hustle and bustle of the first day and forgot to post!

Quick recap of Day 1:

The excitement of starting the campaign propelled us to a great start to the week. The outpouring of support for our pancake breakfast was heartwarming, and it was great to see so many people interested in learning about YESS and the work they’re doing. 

The first day of our classroom runs was hectic, but overall positive. While speaking in front of a large group of people is nerve wracking, it is made way easier when you’re speaking for a purpose. In our case, spreading the word about YESS’ efforts to prevent and break the cycle of homelessness was a message that was worth spreading far and wide. 

Sunday night was terribly cold, and there was very little sleep to be had while adjusting to the ground and the chilly temperatures. It really put into perspective the challenges that people go through while on the streets in cold climates such as Edmonton. While we are putting ourselves through some discomfort, in no way can true homelessness be simulated or fully understood! On a positive note, spirits were kept high by telling stories and watching Chandler flop around in his sleeping bag!

Day 2:

Tuesday was filled with more classroom runs! 

A big shout out to our 5Days supporters for the meals they have brought! They have been essential to keeping our energy high.

A question we’re often asked is: why does 5 Days do this? Aren’t you crazy?

Our answer often is that youth homelessness is a cause that is important to each member of the 5Days team. While everyone may personally have a different reason why they decided to be a part of the campaign, we’re all united in our belief in the work the YESS does for youth at risk. From our tour of the facilities to interacting and learning from members of of the YESS organization, its easy to see the importance that they have in the lives of the youth they help. Their focus on prevention with youth is especially noteworthy, as breaking the cycle of homelessness early is essential to ending homelessness itself. With this in mind, anything that we can do to help them, whether it be through collecting monetary donations or  informing people about the work they do is a win in our books.

Here’s to another successful day and a warmer rest of the week!