Aaron McFadden plans to take a break at the Roving Cabin on Rubidge Street on Saturday as part of a fundraiser for PATH (Peterborough Action for Tiny Homes), a local group looking for new approaches to ending homelessness.
“Alan is a truly beautiful and generous person who has embraced the mission of being a good citizen,” said Sheila Nabigon-Howlett, PATH Secretary. “And he offered to sleep in the cabin, which will probably be a one-time deal.”
McFadden has been a teacher and an active member of the Peterborough community for over 20 years. He is a supporter of PATH and an advocate for homeless people.
“I’m very happy to sleep in the little cabin in the house for one night,” McFadden said in a press release. “My belief is that learning experiences are the most powerful we can have, and I look forward to the night and the people I will meet.”
McFadden has supported the YES Youth and Family Shelter through its winter camping fundraiser for the past two years.
“During this winter camping week for YES, I helped raise funds and awareness,” McFadden said. “The following year, while I was working, I felt I could start over. Last year we again raised over $3,000.
Nabigon-Howlett explained that the evening will be a fun event with music providing an overall sense of hope.
“People on the streets and homeless people, they feel hopeless,” Nabigon-Howlett said. “And so, we want to bring hope to that.”
PATH aims to raise funds to create 15 sleeping cabins by this winter, she said, creating semi-permanent residences for homeless people, allowing them to access social services and get back on your feet.
“It’s not like a shelter where they check in every day and leave,” Nabigon-Howlett said. “It becomes their home for the duration, and this duration has not been determined, because people’s progress towards a stabilized life cannot have a time limit.”
Nabigon-Howlett explained that those selected for these cabins will sign a contract with certain conditions and will not be expelled, as long as they follow the rules. Some of these conditions include involvement in social and mental health services.
“For some people it will be two or three months,” Nabigon-Howlett said. “For others, it will be more than six months, a year. But there will be a selection process and a signed agreement.
PATH advisory board leader Lloyd Ingraham will work with others to gather information from people on the street to determine who will be chosen for the booths. Formerly homeless himself, Ingraham is passionate about helping people in this situation stabilize their lives, Nabigon-Howlett said.
“One of the questions he asks is, who would you like to be your neighbor in this community of tiny houses?” said Nabigon-Howlett.
PATH aims to complete a larger small community of homes for Peterborough, but Nabigon-Howlett explained that is a different process.
“We started in September last year with the idea of doing something for the homeless in Peterborough,” said Nabigon-Howlett. “We call ourselves Peterborough Action for Tiny Homes, but we quickly realized that tiny homes and sleeping cabins are two different things.”
Tiny houses are much more expensive to build because they require plumbing, light fixtures, stoves and refrigerators, Nabigon-Howlett explained, but cabins save costs by only requiring shared bathrooms. and an auxiliary building.
“That’s a difference of $7,000 for a cabin versus $60,000 or $70,000 for a tiny house,” Nabigon-Howlett said. “It’s on a different scale, because they’re self-sufficient.”
Donations can be made on Saturday evening via TipTapPay.
“When we invest in ourselves and in our community, it’s a better world,” McFadden said.