homelessBy: John Kurucz / Tri-Cities Now 
Posted: February 12, 2015 04:31 PM

Simon Fraser University’s campus radio station will put the national spotlight on both the struggles and success stories of homeless people in the Tri-Cities. CJSF 90.1 FM is partnering with PoCo’s New View Society for the National Homelessness Marathon, slated for Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Now in its 13th year, the National Campus and Community Radio Association’s Homelessness Marathon represents a partnership between more than 30 campus and community radio station across Canada.

As part of the initiative, each station broadcasts an hour’s worth of programming nationwide. Locally, the broadcast will include interviews with New View Society employees, members of the homeless community and others who have moved off the streets and rebuilt their lives.

“We’re trying to cover stories that are local to the areas that we’re broadcasting from,” said CJSF programming coordinator David Swanson. “So, for example, even though Riverview isn’t in Port Coquitlam, it’s still a prevalent topic in the area.”

CJSF has taken part in the marathon for the past five years, and has previously highlighted homelessness initiatives in Surrey and Vancouver. The upcoming broadcast will be the first time the radio station has featured stories specific to the Tri-Cities.

“It’s a practice in empathy and compassion building,” Swanson said. “A lot of people are aware of these situations, but I think generally, those who are homeless, mentally ill or who have addiction issues are villainized and dehumanized. So this is a really good way to shed light on these people’s personal struggles and also their success stories.”

CJSF will be live on location at the New View Society, located at 2050 Mary Hill Rd., starting at 3 p.m. on Feb. 25. The national broadcast will run from 7 to 8 p.m.
The day is open to the public and will include artist performances, free meals and more.

Listeners in Metro Vancouver can tune into the marathon at CJSF 90.1 FM, or listen online at www.cjsf.ca.