Many residents prepared for a night out in the cold for “Sleep Out Saturday,” in hopes to raise funds that go directly to housing and care for DuPage’s homeless.
“Sleep Out Saturday is an annual event, it’s the largest fundraising event for Bridge Communities,” said Chris Chenoweth, Event Coordinator of Good Shepherd’s Sleep Out Saturday event. “It’s an event where people come out here and sleep in a cardboard box, or in a tent, or in their vehicle, or in an indoor shelter that we have behind me but the idea is to emulate homelessness.”
The event was held in more than 25 DuPage County communities and together brought out nearly 2,000 residents.
For some of the participants, it was their 3rd year sleeping out at Good Shepherd Church and they say that each year their appreciation for what they have grows stronger.
“I participate in this event because of the realizations that not everybody is as well off as I am, and really you sleep in the boxes and it’s a one night thing, and you’re like man that was hard, it was cold and it sucked and then you get to go home sleep in your bed and you’re home, and you do realize that’s something that people have to go through every night and that’s a hard realization,” said Nick Farrar, 3rd year participant.
As for others, this was their first time with no roof over their head, which was an eye opening experience.
“I feel that it’s definitely tough it was definitely no walk in the park building that over there, I feel like it must be challenging to have no home, no shelter, no nothing, to have to start from scratch,” said Aidan Jones, participant of Sleep Out Saturday.
“I think it’s a great idea for people to see this so they can see what it’s like to be homeless so they are aware and are able to help people who are homeless,” said Peter Constant, participant of Sleep Out Saturday.
Bridge Communities says that the average age of a homeless person in DuPage County is eight years old.
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