Edmonton

Winter warming bus campaign moves into high gear

A fundraising campaign to get the winter warming bus serving Edmonton's homeless back on the road is gathering speed and is now almost a third of the way towards making its target.

Local Edmonton donations edge campaign towards $100,000 target

The winter warming bus is currently parked in a lot north of downtown until the money is raised to get it running again. (Sam Martin/CBC)

A fundraising campaign to get the winter warming bus serving Edmonton's homeless back on the road is gathering speed and is now almost a third of the way towards making its target.

After a CBC story last week revealing the bus is not being funded this year, a number of local businesses have stepped up to donate money.

The group WinterCity Edmonton has also got involved in the movement by promising to match any donation up to a total of $1,000.

The 15-seat bus, which has been running for about a decade, offered hot soup, winter clothes and a place to warm up for the city's homeless.

"For some people it makes the difference between life and death," said Sue Holdsworth, the WinterCity Edmonton manager.

She said the goal of her organization, which is funded by the city, is all about making Edmonton a great winter city, and protecting the city's most vulnerable residents is a key part of that.

"We really wanted to support the service and encourage other people to support it as well, and we thought a matching grant would be a really good way to do that," she said.

Aidan Inglis, with Boyle Street Community Services, which operates the bus, said it was great to see so many Edmontonians getting involved in the campaign.

"Honestly, it's been incredible," said Inglis. "People recognize the importance of the bus, they're familiar with it, they've seen it on the roads."

As of Monday afternoon, Boyle Street Community Services had raised about $28,500 and donations were still coming in.

A total of $100,000 is needed to get the bus back on the road.