Interfaith Outreach Launches Sleep Out
Volunteers are preparing for the 23rd Annual Interfaith Outreach Sleep Out starting with a community sleep out on Saturday.
“Oh, it’s exciting,” says Lani Willis from Interfaith Outreach. “It’s a bustle inside, we are getting all kinds of details checked off the list, but getting everything ready for big community sleep out Saturday, which kicks off the Sleep Out Campaign.”
The Sleep Out campaign has become a tradition around the Plymouth area. Participants pitch a tent or sleep in a cardboard box outside in cold temperatures. By doing so, they draw attention to homelessness and raise money too. Recently, Sleep Out participants have put a truly suburban spin on the campaign, by doing more things that suburban families might do to fight homelessness. Families might sleep on the couch or the floor at a friend’s house. They might turn down the thermostat to keep temperatures cool in their home, thus saving on heating costs and providing more money for rent.
“It’s not unusual for families to be spending 60-70 of their budget on housing, when 30% is considered affordable,” explains Willis. “When budgets are that tight, it’s hard to make ends meet. It’s hard to get by.”
Last year, 1 in 5 Interfaith Outreach families experienced homelessness. The nonprofit says the escalating affordable housing crisis is threatening the well-being of a growing number of people.
The annual campaign raises over 40 percent of Interfaith Outreach’s operating budget. This year organizers hope to raise $2.4 million to help more than two thousand families in need.
To learn more about activities planned around the 23rd Annual Sleep Out, contact Interfaith Outreach.