"A Night Without a Home," a sleepout to benefit Douglas County agencies that care for the homeless, takes place from noon Saturday, Oct. 19, to noon Sunday, Oct. 20, in Center City Park, next to the Superior Public Library.
The event seeks to raise awareness of homelessness in the community, acknowledge those who experience homelessness and raise resources to help alleviate it. An estimated 500 people are homeless in Douglas County on any given night. Some are couch-surfing; others out in the weather.
“We have a lot of people on the street,” grassroots organizer Tom Wondolkowski said.
For the past 12 years, "A Night Without a Home" organizers have braved the elements overnight in a tent with a fire. They’ve experienced rain, snow and wind.
“I do it one day a year and being out in the elements, it wears you out. It saps you of so much strength,” Wondolkowski said. “I can’t imagine doing it all the time.”
Everyone is invited to stop by. Food and activities will be available throughout the night. Donations of socks, sleeping bags, hygiene items, toiletries and money will be collected on-site. Gift cards for gas, groceries, haircuts and more are also needed.
A few years ago, organizers moved the date of the annual event to improve donations.
“We had some times in November the weather was so crappy nobody wanted to go out and give us a donation, and what’s the point of doing a fundraiser if nobody wants to stop?” Wondolkowski said. “So we moved it up to October.”
Donations will support Harbor House Crisis Shelters, Solid Rock, Human Development Center, Salvation Army of Superior and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Checks should be written to Faith United Methodist Church in care of “A Night Without a Home.”