Lumby’s mayor spent the weekend camping out at the entrance to Lumby to raise awareness of poverty and funds for the White Valley Community Resource Centre.
Kevin Acton says he was given about 2900 dollars
“It was a whole lot of 20 dollar bills but there was one very generous gentleman that started my evening off Friday night with a thousand dollar cheque.”
And it wasn’t just money Acton received.
He heard a lot of stories as well.
“One gentleman was saying how his dad used to pocket some ketchup from McDonalds once in awhile when he was younger so that he could add some flavour to his soups. Another lady was talking about sunshine sandwiches. That was basically mustard on bread and that’s what they ate.”
Acton ate nothing himself over the week, drinking just water and some coffee.
He says he is always humbled by the reaction he gets.
“I was so proud to be the Mayor of Lumby. The community is strong and helpful and caring and it’s something amazing to be a part of.”
He says the final tally could take a few days as the Bank of Nova Scotia sent out a challenge on Friday that it promised to match donations to.
Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton got to sleep in his own bed last night after spending the weekend camping out at the side of Highway 6.
Acton went without food since Friday evening to 5 pm Sunday, drinking only water and some coffee.
He did it to raise awareness of homelessness and general poverty and raise money for the White Valley Community Resource Centre which helps those in need.
About 2900 dollars came in to his makeshift campsite.
“There are people that come by that live a transient lifestyle or have been at rock bottom and climbed back out and they come down and they tell their story. There are some pretty compelling stories that make it seem well worthwhile being down there.”
Meanwhile, Acton says he’s hoping to find away to improve housing in the village.
“We’ve done a needs assessment and there is a need for housing across the board in Lumby. There’s almost nothing and especially rental. So, we’re looking at properties and we’re looking at ways the government can actually get involved.”
He says most contractors are more interested in building massive apartment blocks in residential neighbourhoods.
Acton says one option may be a rent-to-own program similar to what the Liberals proposed in their throne speech.
“Maybe local government can get involved in something like that, where we buy the property, build the houses and do a rent-to-own program for young families who are having trouble putting money into the bank for a down payment.”
He says local agencies are doing what they can to help people deal with poverty, but adds both the federal and provincial government need to do more.