Colder weather signals a return to warmer coats and turning on the furnace for most, but for some Edmontonians living on the street it means surviving the Alberta winter without a warm place to go.

Presented annually by the Edmonton Coalition on Housing and Homelessness (ECOHH), Homefest returns to the TransAlta Arts Barns Nov. 7.

“I have people living out of dumpsters in my back alley,” said Rob Heath, a playwright and a musician taking part in this year’s Homefest.

“Right now we’re talking in the city about building a $700-million hockey stadium, and most of that is going to come from city coffers.

“You know, I think we could shake a few dollars loose to build a few more beds.”

The festival is in its eighth year of raising funds and awareness about homelessness by providing a multi-stage five-hour concert performed by local and travelling folk musicians.

“Our expectation for Homefest is twofold. One is to raise awareness around the homelessness housing issues, and secondarily to let people have a really good afternoon of some wonderful, wonderful music,” said ECOHH chairman Keith Harding.

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