Sleep-Out to raise funds for homeless people? FWD

Tom Boland (
Tue, 29 Sep 1998 09:07:24 -0400

Have you ever been to a Sleep-Out?  What was it like?  Did it gain anything
for homeless people?

As people who've been homeless or are homeless now, what do you think of
the idea of using Sleep-Outs as a fund-raising tool?  What do you think of
the Sleep-Out plan reported in the news article below?

Since at least the late 1980's, we've had sleep-outs here in Greater
Boston.  Based at college campuses usually, they've been  mainly to raise
awareness, plus to recruit helpers for anti-homelessness direct action
campaigns and volunteers for homeless-managed organizations.  I know of no
sleep-out here for which the main focus has been-fund-raising.

Thanks in advance for your ideas on this.  Write on!  -- Tom Boland
FWD  [Pittsburg & Western PA] Tribune-Review  September 28, 1998


         By Renee Cardelli, Tribune-Review

When most people think of a homeless person, the image most commonly evoked
is a panhandler on a city street corner.

But that isn't always the case, and seven Washington County organizations
want people to know that homelessness is a problem in rural communities as
well as in urban areas.

The second annual Sleep-Out Friday hopes to enlighten residents to what
it's like to be homeless. The Sleep-Out will take place from 7 p.m. Friday
to 6 a.m. Monday at the Washington County Fairgrounds.

A minimum $10 donation is asked of participants, and those who give $50 or
more will receive a free T-shirt. Proceeds will be distributed among the
Washington City Mission/Avis Arbor, Interfaith Hospitality Network,
Washington Family Shelter, Safe Haven and Washington Women's Shelter Inc.

Monica Petrucci, life skills specialist for Connect Inc., an agency that
runs two shelters, said participants at the Sleep-Out will receive soup,
bread and water in the evening and will be fed doughnuts, coffee, hot
chocolate and juice for breakfast.

Each of the six shelters in Washington County will have a spokesperson to
speak about his personal experience with homelessness.

"Our homeless are different from Pittsburgh homeless. Most people don't
realize that on any given night there are at least 100 homeless in
emergency shelters in Washington County," said Linda Harms, director of
homeless services for the Washington County Department of Human Services.
"They aren't the kind that lay in the street."

The Washington City Mission has also donated cardboard boxes and garbage
bags for a "scrounge for shelter," a chance for participants to gather up
materials and build a shelter for the night. Those attending are only
permitted to bring a sleeping bag and clothes.

"The Sleep-Out hopefully will make individuals aware that there is a
homeless problem in Washington County. Most rural counties do have a
homeless problem, but it's not as visible. Many live in tents or in
campgrounds...Homelessness is very broad," Harms said.

In 1997, Harms said Washington County shelters reported 1,233 persons - 857
adults and 376 children - who required emergency housing.

Sponsoring the event are United Way of Washington County, AT&T Wireless
Services, Allegheny Power, Dollar Bank, Ladbroke at the Meadows, Rainbow
Graphics, and Cerdec Corp.

Registrations are still being taken for the Sleep-Out by calling Monica
Petrucci of Connect Inc. at (724) 229-3387.


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