EDMONTON – An Edmonton union official and education worker is putting herself ‘on the street’ by participating in the “Homeless for a night” fundraiser for the Youth Emergency Shelter. The fundraiser, which takes place June 3rd at Telus Field, is an annual event to raise awareness and funds for the shelter.
Trudy Grebenstein, President of CUPE 3550 (Edmonton Public Schools support staff), worked for 27 years at Eastglen School. In her time there she saw dozens of shelter residents attend her school.
“If it were not for the shelter, a lot of these children wouldn’t have gotten an education,” said Grebenstein. “It’s quite possible they would have gone from being young and homeless to grown up and homeless.”
Grebenstein and others will spend an evening sleeping at Telus Park thisFriday. There will be entertainment between 6 pm and 11 pm. Ten cots will be auctioned off for participants to sleep on, with everyone else sleeping in tents on the ground.
CUPE 3550 sent a challenge to all high school principals and Public Trustees to join her. So far, no principals have replied, and Wendy Keiver is the only Trustees to pledge a contribution, promising to join Grebenstein next year.
“I think it’s important for the school system to get behind the shelter,” said Grebenstein. “It’s a lifeline for our students, and without it – Edmonton would be an ugly place.”