FREDERICTON (GNB) – MLAs are taking up a challenge to go barefoot for one hour in support of the Push for Change campaign to raise money and awareness about youth homelessness.

Families and Children Minister Stephen Horsman issued the challenge to his colleagues on Wednesday, June 22. MLAs are being asked to attend the sitting of the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, June 28, without their shoes.

“Supporting New Brunswick’s youth who cannot live with their parents has been a key initiative of our government,” said Horsman. “Young New Brunswickers need resources and programs to help them become successful adults. Programs such as the new Youth Engagement Services help to meet the needs of youth living in challenging situations.”

Premier Brian Gallant accepted Horsman’s challenge earlier this week. Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault joined Horsman at the legislative assembly to raise awareness to the Barefoot Challenge.

“Now, I would like to issue the challenge to all MLAs to participate in this excellent public education and fund-raising initiative,” said Horsman.

The Department of Social Development offers a range of programs for youth in partnership with the departments of Education and Early Childhood Development and Health as well as Dots NB and other community-based organizations.

Donations made through the Barefoot Challenge are directed to the Upstream Project, a Canada-wide partnership focused on preventing homelessness through school-based programs.

People can text 41010 with the word BOOTSFREDDY to donate $10. Half of the funds will remain in Fredericton to support Youth in Transition. People can also text BOOTS, to donate $10 to the project. Donations may also be made online.