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Sleep in someone else's box

Updated March 27, 2009

With the downfall of the economy, homelessness has become a reality for a growing number of Fort Collins residents. Homeless rates have risen since the year 2000 and continue to rise.

Social Work in Action is taking a step in raising awareness and money to help those in need.

March 27 will mark the first-ever Sleep in Someone Else’s Box event. Teams of students will be sleeping out on the Plaza overnight to raise awareness for the cause. Before the event, the teams will raise money for Homelessness Prevention Initiative and collect gear for Homeless Gear.

About HPI, Homeless Gear

Homelessness Prevention Initiative is a local non-profit agency that helps families during financial emergencies when they may not be able to make their rent.

Homeless Gear collects unwanted outdoor gear and redistributes them to the homeless.

Kate Quillin, an intern at Homelessness Prevention Initiative and member of Social Work in Action, is the brains behind the project. “I got the idea from a sleep out the youth group at Plymouth trips does to raise funds for Homeless Prevention.”

Event to include contests, speakers, and more

The event starts at noon on Friday with a box decorating contest on the Plaza. Boxes will be judged at 3:45 p.m. based on education or theme regarding homelessness, creativity, warmth, comfort and livability.

“We are anticipating over 100 people and have a goal to raise $4,900 for Homeless Prevention and collect a truck full of camping equipment for Homeless Gear,” Quillin said.

The sleep-out goes from 7 p.m. to midnight. During that time there will be speakers, music, games, and a showing of The Other Side of Suburbia, a documentary on poverty in Fort Collins. Speakers include Representative John Kefalas and Sister Mary Alice Murphy, founder of the Murphy Center for Hope.

Get involved

Team registration has already passed, but students can still sign up the night of the event to sleep out.

Participants are encouraged to bring games and musical instruments to play during the sleep out. Note that open flames, alcohol, and drugs will not be allowed.

For more information, check out the website or the Facebook event.

Changes due to weather

The sleep-out was changed to end at midnight due to the recent snow and cold weather conditions. The speakers will still be there and if it's dry enough to run electricity, they will still show the documentary.

In a message to event participants on Facebook, Quillin said, "in a situation like this we just have to remind ourselves that the homeless do not have any other options than to take on the elements and sleep outside."

Contact: Kate Quillin
Phone: (719) 271-3470