noah reid birthday fundraiser esn

Schitt's Creek star's fans raising money for Toronto encampments for his birthday

Schitt's Creek star and beloved Toronto-born musician Noah Reid has been a vocal supporter of Toronto's tiny shelters and homeless encampments throughout the pandemic, and the performer's fans have now started a fundraiser for the Encampment Support Network in honour of his birthday as a result.

The fundraiser, launched by an anonymous fan on Monday, aims to raise $3,400 for Reid's 34th birthday, with all proceeds going toward the ESN — an ad-hoc, volunteer-run network supporting people living in encampments in six locations throughout Toronto.

"This year, we're raising funds for an organization that is near and dear to Noah's heart: The Encampment Support Network. The work they are doing is vital for protecting the residents of Toronto from being displaced due to governmental oppression," wrote the fundraiser organizer on Twitter this week.

"We are attempting to raise $3,400 in honour of Noah's 34th birthday. This is not a small task, but we know it can be done. We've seen what the fans are capable of! Please give if you can and/or share this fundraiser on all social media sites, even outside of fandom circles."

As of 10 a.m. on March 30, fans had already raised $1,377 for the network.

Back in December, Reid spoke out against attempts to remove tiny wooden shelters and tents from parks, writing on Instagram that that the city should "stop these unconscionable encampment evictions."

"Our elected officials need to show up for people in this city who don't have anywhere to go and stop finding stupid excuses to vilify them and the community working to help them," he said at the time.

"The small structures aren't the problem. They're the best solution available for a lot of people. Let the mayor and your city councillors know this won't stand, and follow to get a better picture of what's going on."

Now, Reid and other advocates are renewing calls for the city to halt encampment evictions, as park residents have received notices informing them that must relocate by April 6

"ESN is working hard to keep these residents from losing everything they have and keeping them safe during this time," reads the campaign description. 

"In recent weeks especially, our favourite guy has been working to bring awareness to this network, so what better way could we tell him 'Happy birthday' than by supporting an organization that is clearly so dear to his heart?"

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