On Nov. 3, in about 75 yards and parking lots all over DuPage County, some 2,000 people will sleep outside in boxes, tents and cars for the ninth consecutive year to raise money to fight homelessness.
In Elmhurst, the youth groups from First United Methodist Church and St. Peters United Church of Christ are taking on this mission.
In DuPage County, it would take 95 hours of work per week at minimum wage to earn enough money to rent a two-bedroom apartment at fair market cost, according to a report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. The challenge for a single parent of two kids earning minimum wage to survive in our community is almost insurmountable, which is why more and more families are being forced into homelessness.
Themed Imagine, this year's Sleep Out Saturday challenges every single “sleeper” to imagine changing the life of a homeless DuPage family and then turning that image into reality.
Sleep Out Saturday will kick off with a free, outdoor rally at 7 p.m. in downtown Glen Ellyn, at 505 Crescent Blvd. The rally is open to the public and will feature music, video and live testimonials from Bridge Communities clients.
Last year, Sleep Out Saturday raised more than $130,000 for Bridge Communities’ Transitional Housing Program, which serves more than 100 families annually. The organization’s services also include life-skills mentoring, financial counseling, employment training, tutoring and an auto repair and donation program.
To participate, or to sponsor a “sleeper,” call (630) 545-0610 or visit www.SleepOutSaturday.org. Also, keep up with Sleep Out Saturday on Facebook.
Check out Elmhurst Patch's coverage of last year's event here.