Homelessness affects approximately 5,000 people (including more than 2,500 children) in our community every year.
But because of the perseverance of leaders and volunteers in our community, something is being done about it.
The Linn County Sleep Out for the Homeless began in 2005 after a small group of advocates, including Don Tyne, and several veterans spent the night sleeping outside at Coe College during National Homeless Awareness week.
According to Tyne, the group collected $3,000 for their efforts.
"When the Community Circle of Care heard about our adventure, Ann Hearn got and the event turned into the large scale fundraiser and awareness raiser that it is today. In 2007, Congress gave us a National Award."
Since then, Linn County Sleep Out for the Homeless participants have raised more than $100,000. All the money raised during the event goes to local nonprofit agencies which provide shelter, food, and other basic necessities to homeless men, women and children in our community.
Men, women and children in our community may be considered homeless if they lack permanent and/or stable housing. That could mean spending the night in a shelter, a car, or a park; sleeping in a motel; or staying with family or friends because they’re unable to maintain their own residence.
Every year, during National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week, the Linn County Office of Veteran Affairs and Community Circle of Care invites the public to spend one night outdoors to learn about homelessness and learn what our community is doing to help those in need.
This year's event will be held Oct. 29-30 at the Vets Memorial Stadium, 950 Rockford Road SW. A trunk or treat will be held 4-5 pm, prior to the event.
You will also have the opportunity to:
- Meet representatives from local agencies that serve the homeless
- Participate in educational games and learning experiences
- Watch a family-friendly movie on the Kernel’s big screen
- Bid on silent auction items
- Enjoy warm soup and drinks
Gates open at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. The event concludes at 6 a.m. Sunday, Oct, 30.
For more info, visit their website.