Square One Community, Inc. held their second annual Walk for Warmth fundraiser on March 14, with about 60 people meeting on the steps of Zion United Church before walking the perimeter of Crescent Park. 

The event was held to raise funds for Square One’s mission of helping housing-insecure adults in and around Moose Jaw. 

The small crowd was a noticeable contrast to the organization’s first event. 

The inaugural Walk for Warmth in 2023 had 40 teams and several dozen individuals sign up. There were well over 200 people fundraising and walking, and the event raised over $37,000. 

About 60 people gathered for Square One's 2nd annual Walk for WarmthAbout 60 people gather for Square One's 2nd annual Walk for Warmth, with the goal of raising funds to support housing-insecure people in and around Moose Jaw (photo by Gordon Edgar)

“It’s going to be a quieter evening than last year, but (we have) nothing but gratitude for the people who have stepped into this and supported and are walking with us, and I think it’ll be a wonderful evening,” Della Ferguson, president of the Square One board, told DiscoverMooseJaw.com before the event. 

Ferguson speculated that delays in people receiving their tax receipts from last year had played into the lower signups in 2024. Square One now has charitable status, she noted, so those receipts will go out rapidly this time around. 

Ferguson said the busyness of life, a tightening economy leaving people with less disposable income, and a variety of worthy causes to donate to might also be reasons for the reduced turnout. 

The 2024 Walk for Warmth received support from community organizations like the Moose Jaw Police Service (MJPS) and Moose Jaw Family Services. Jay-D Haughton, Public Information Manager with the MJPS, said the police see Square One as a partner and they enjoy coming out to show solidarity. 

“This is such a great organization, Square One, and the Walk for Warmth means a lot to us,” Haughton said. “We deal with issues like homelessness on a regular basis, and we work with Square One and many other organizations to try and help with their goals. 

“Myself, and the Chief (Rick Bourassa), and Superintendent Taylor Mickleborough are out here, we quite enjoy participating in these kinds of things and it means a lot to be able to give back.” 

Tara Jones, executive director of Moose Jaw Family Services, led a team of four or five (plus family members) from her workplace in the Walk for Warmth. 

“We believe in their mission of helping people who are insecurely housed to find better options than what we have currently,” she explained. “So, we just want to show our support. 

“We interact with a lot of people who have vulnerabilities, not necessarily the homeless or insecurely housed, but there’s definitely some crossover. ... I just really hope that a lot of funds can be raised, because Moose Jaw just doesn’t have the resources that are needed to make sure everyone is in a safe, warm place.” 

Ferguson said funds will go toward establishing a Supportive Housing Hub at William Milne Place on Fairford and hiring a special co-ordinator to provide wrap-around, social prescription-style support. 

Eventually, the goal is to have four transitional spaces for women at William Milne, with a support worker on site during the day to help them navigate their challenges. 

“We’re grateful for a community that comes together and collaborates and supports each other and works for those who are struggling,” Ferguson added. 

Learn more at www.squareonehousingmoosejaw.com.