Participants of the fourth annual CEO Sleepout spent Thursday night in K.R. Barkman Park in support of Today House and to get a taste of what it might mean to be homeless.
Today House Board Member Bev Dueck says there were 43 participants from the local business community alongside members of the Today House board. She says the whole event was fantastic.
“We had good energy and Michael Champagne came and spoke and he gave us an interesting peek into his own life and what we can do and how we can come together as a community with businesses and individuals and work together to help end homelessness. It was a really good challenge.”
Dueck says the night was warmer than they expected. She says they took part in activities that provoked thought about what it might be like to be homeless and how people who are experiencing homelessness cope with their situation.
“We did an activity where we stood on a line and if we could answer yes to certain questions we could move forward. Each of us were given a new identity that we were. Things like can you go out for dinner when you want to? No, couldn't move. Do you feel safe all the time? Couldn't move. Do you have hope for the future” Couldn't move. It really brought it home that it is tough. It affects who you are and how you cope.”
Dueck says the fundraiser aspect to the CEO Sleepout was very successful.
“We did really well. Our goal was $50,000 and so far, to date, we have raised $53,000 and that covers the operating expenses of Today House and this is our major fundraising to do. It is great.”