A member of CFB Comox 19 Wing is taking to the road, to help those in need. 

Starting on July 20th at 11:30pm, Captain Fahim Awan will begin a 160km march to help fundraise for Care-a-Van.

“During the countless kilometres logged by the team, by marching all over our community, it has become evident that homelessness in the Comox Valley is on the rise,” explained Awan. “The COVID-19 pandemic, the housing and opioid crisis, along with mental health issues, has tipped the scale against the most at-risk members of our community.” 

Care-a-van is described as ‘a non profit, community- funded mobile outreach health unit, providing no fee health care and social development services directly to people on the streets.’ Its volunteer staff consist of doctors, nurses, drivers, social workers, among others. 

Since 2009, more than 2950 unique individuals— homeless or at-risk of homelessness— have received health care services from the Care-a-Van. The service has increased by 360% since 2013. 

“By taking healthcare to the street, Care-a-Van bypasses the stigma of homelessness and reaches members of our community that would not otherwise have access due to social and economic obstacles,” said Awan. 

Awan’s march will consist of four consecutive 40km marches, which is typically completed in the Netherlands as 4-40km marches over 4 days. Other members of 19 Wing are planning  to relay along.

The march is estimated to be completed by July 22nd at 3:30pm.

The route for the march is expected to be released on July 19th.

“To put our past two years of training to good use for something other than a virtual march, we hope our efforts might bring meaningful change to our community,” concludes Awan. “We are not only CAF members – we are members of the Comox Valley.”

To donate to Care-a-van, direct deposit is accepted via [email protected], cheques can be mailed to 2800 Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay, and online donations are accepted at cvcareavan.ca/donate.