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Avid Lloydminster runner sets out to fundraise for Men’s Shelter

The Lloydminster Men’s Shelter is looking to upgrade to a new building and their executive director is embarking on a run to make it happen.

Kagan Kneen, the executive director with the Lloydminster Men’s Shelter is looking to raise money to move the shelter into a new building.

“Our building is so small, in the middle of the afternoon we have to have the clients leave the building so we can clean the dorms and do the bedding, that’s when sometimes they’re walking around downtown or sitting at the steps, there’s just nothing for them to do,” he said.

Kneen, who took up the mantle as executive director in March said part of his mandate from the board of directors was to build community relations and work on finding a new location. Then in a recent meeting, he made the pitch to raise money through a fundraiser.

“We want to buy a building, but we don’t have the funds for it, yes we can go to the government partners that fund us mostly, but what about doing a capital campaign,” he said.

Plans for the run were set in motion following the board meeting.

The run will begin in Decoigne, near the B.C., Alberta border and stretch across two provinces before finishing in Roxton, Saskatchewan near the Sask and Manitoba border.

Kneen has been a runner for most of his life, running a variety of marathon events including half marathons.

“I’m an avid runner, it’s always been a part of who I am,” he said.

The run from border to border stretches across nearly 1,300-kilometres. The run embarks on Aug. 1 with the goal of finishing the journey by Aug. 25th in Roxton.

Kneen’s plan is to run between 50 to 60 kilometres a day and has been training to prepare for the long run.

“I’ll do 20 kilometres in the morning, 20 in the afternoon, 20 in the evening and I’ll make sure to work on my hydration, nutrition,” he explains.

He will be accompanied by a pilot car along his route. Kneen will be camping along the way, he says some of the towns and cities along the way have allowed him to camp at their city hall. In other cities they’ve had to arrange campsites for him to stay in. The idea of camping along the way is to help build awareness of the unhoused.

“I’m staying in a tent, our unhoused community members typically stay in tents or have tarps over their heads, I’m really trying to drive the awareness of the challenges that they’re going through,” said Kneen.

The fundraising goal of the run is $300,000 but Kneen says the actual cost would be much higher.

“The overall cost for purchasing, retrofits all that kind of stuff we’re looking at three quarters of a million to a million dollars, hopefully the run can raise a hefty portion of that.”

People looking to support the run and the Lloydminster Men’s Shelter can do so by donating online at LloydminsterShelter.Com.