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Alex Grimaldi to participate in fundraiser for Youth Emergency Shelter

A union leader and City of Edmonton employee will soon get a mild taste of what its like to sleep in the city without the benefit of four walls and a roof.

Alex Grimaldi, President of CUPE Local 30, will participate in the homeless for a night project being organized by the Youth Emergency Shelter. Grimaldi said he is trying to do more for homelessness after CUPE members identified it as a problem.

Our members encounter the homeless every day, in the river valley, in city parkades and buildings, downtown and in their neighborhoods, said Grimaldi. Rather than just turn our backs to the problem, we want to be more positive and work toward a solution.

Grimaldi said his Local has been meeting with homeless activists ever since. CUPE Local 30 will match what Grimaldi can raise for the shelter.

The event will take place this Friday evening at John Ducey Park. There will be entertainment between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Ten cots will be auctioned off for participants to sleep on, with everyone else sleeping on the ground.

As homelessness goes, this is about as tame as it gets, said Grimaldi, noting that he will be allowed to bring a sleeping bag, and the weather forecast is good. But if we can raise a little money for the shelter, and increase awareness of homeless issues, then we are doing something right.