Newsmakers: Interfaith Outreach Highlights Suburban Poverty
Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners is bringing awareness to poverty and homelessness in the suburbs.
It looks much different than you might think.
“There are families right here in our community that are living at 200 percent below poverty,” said Kevin Ward, executive director. “As a family of four, that’s making $60,000 a year. And that budget doesn’t work because 63 percent of that is going toward housing costs. So our Sleep Out is bringing awareness toward those basic needs and ongoing stability for those families who are specifically living the the suburbs.”
The annual Sleep Out campaign is celebrating 28 years this year. The awareness and fundraising drive started with community members sleeping out in cardboard boxes or tents in the cold weather to highlight homelessness. While participants can still do that, there’s been a shift in focus.
“If they want to host their own sleep out or sleep in, feel free to do that and maybe create some awareness around that with your family and friends,” explained Ward. “You can also volunteer. We are always looking for people to volunteer and come and help with our mission. There are also ways to contribute financially.”
Interfaith Outreach provides food, case management, emergency financial assistance, employment services, and child care resources to people residing their their service area. To learn more their services, click here.