FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2022
Because We Care CK Initiative Encourages Local Businesses to Help Address
the Root Causes of Homelessness
CHATHAM – For the third year in a row, business leaders in the home, construction, and supply industry are at the forefront of the Because We Care CK initiative in support of United Way of Chatham-Kent, raising money to help address the root causes of homelessness in our community.
More than 65 local businesses and individuals participated in Because We Care CK in 2021, with funds going to support programming that focusses on homelessness and its root causes. This included the opening of the James St. Drop-In in Wallaceburg, where unhoused and vulnerable people can receive shelter, food, and community support, as well as a contribution to United Way’s donation to the residential Withdrawal Management services at CKHA, a ten-bed inpatient program addressing the immediate needs of people with addictions. This year, Because We Care CK is co-chaired by Robb Nelson of Maple City Homes and Alanna Aarrsen of Sacwal Flooring Centres and The Lighting Shoppe.
With a goal to surpass last year’s Because We Care CK total of more than $150,000, Trevor Mailloux, Director of Maple City Homes, Ltd. is proud of how far the initiative has come in just a few years, but says he wants to see it grow even more in 2022. “We don’t want this to be a two-year or three-year program; we want this to keep going. We have big hopes for Because We Care CK this year and for many years to come. There’s still so much that we can do. And we challenge others to do it with us.”
Alanna Aarrsen, President of Sacwal Flooring Centres & The Lighting Shoppe is excited to be involved in the initiative again this year, and to see the differences wide participation can make in the community. “We know the need for support is still high in Chatham-Kent for so many, but we also saw the amazing things we can accomplish through Because We Care CK. Sacwal Flooring and The Lighting Shoppe is happy to take part once again this year, and hope that we can help make even more of a difference in the community, wherever that help is needed.”
Barb Palace, CEO of United Way of Chatham-Kent is proud of the work done to help those challenged by the causes of homelessness this past year but stresses that the issue is a complicated one. “There are many reasons that someone might be unhoused or facing housing insecurity in Chatham-Kent so we have to address those needs in a variety of ways.” She adds that an initiative like Because We Care CK supports the development and continuation of crucial programs and says that it’s rewarding to see local business leaders joining in that important work. “We’re all a part of this community so we really appreciate working as a partner with Because We Care CK.”
Additional funding from last year’s initiative also helped support community outreach programs and local food banks, where usage has increased 30% since 2020. With the cost of utilities and food predicted to rise again this winter, housing security will become uncertain for many more.
It is something that Mailloux says he thinks about often. “These ongoing problems are getting worse, and they don’t just affect some people, they affect everybody. We all know someone struggling with mental health challenges, addiction, or joblessness. But we care a lot about our community, and we know we can help make it better. The best way for us to do that is to help raise funds because we know it makes a difference. We’ve seen it.”
Because We Care CK runs from September 16, 2022 until February 28, 2023.
For more information or to donate please visit www.uwock.ca or contact:
Trevor Mailloux, Director, Maple City Homes Ltd. 519.809.1194 maplecityhomes.ca
Alanna Aarrsen, President, Sacwal Flooring Centres & The Lighting Shoppe 519.354.6121 x225 sacwalflooringcentres.com thelightingshoppechatham.ca
Barb Palace, CEO United Way of Chatham-Kent 519.354.0430 www.uwock.ca