By Brennan Phillips
Special to the Western News
Penticton’s own CFUZ Radio will have a one hour segment during the 16th Annual Homelessness Marathon on Feb. 22.
‘’By meeting people, by knowing their names and knowing their stories, it changed how I saw things,” said CFUZ membership director Lydia Frederick on her experience with producing the station’s documentary for the previous year’s broadcast.
The Homeless Marathon is an annual nationwide radio broadcast featuring stations across the country. Last year, CFUZ Radio provided the broadcast with a half hour audio documentary. Frederick spent a week at the Penticton Soupateria recording interviews and talking to those who came for meals, which she edited into the documentary.
“Before (the documentary) I would the give a donation, such as to panhandlers, but I didn’t feel comfortable,” said Frederick. “After, I wanted to know them on a more personal level to help them more.”
This year Frederick reached out to the community and organizations that provide assistance and aid to those in need, including Discovery House, the South Okanagan Women In Need Society, the Penticton Soupateria and the Ooknakane Friendship Centre. With Penticton Western News reporter Dustin Godfrey, Frederick recorded interviews with representatives of the organizations. Between the interviews will be segments of stories of individuals who are homeless or in need, or were in the past.
The broadcast will begin at 7 a.m. and continue for 15 hours. A program by the National Campus and Community Radio Association, this year’s broadcast is hosted by the University of New Brunswick, Saint John’s CFMH-FM. CFUZ’s segment will air at 7:30 p.m. (tune in to listen here www.cfuz.ca) Throughout the broadcast, stations from across the country will provide their own local stories for the national platform.
“It’s an opportunity to learn about the situation in other communities,” said Frederick. “It’s also an opportunity for them to learn about our situation. There’s between 100 to 200 people who go to the Penticton Soupateria every day, and the housing situation is not great.”
Frederick hopes to see some change in attitude and more openness towards those are struggling.
“I want people to realize we share the community. That there are many different issues, different people, but we are one community.”
[quote] This is Lydia Frederick from Peach City Radio. Regarding the interview we just did, I forgot to mention the other people in the team that organized the program this year.
Also assisting with the program from Peach City Radio are Glory McIntyre, Dave Del Rizzo and James Cunningham.