Linn County Veterans Affairs, Community Circle of Care and several other social service agencies invite the public to participate in the th Annual Sleep Out for the Homeless.

On any given day people are in need of shelter in Linn County and many are our military veterans! Roughly 5,000 individuals accessed emergency shelters and transitional housing programs in Linn County last year. More than half of those people were children.

The Sleep Out supports 9 local shelters, including the Foundation 2 Youth Shelter.  All donations raised will be distributed among the participating shelters.

There are several ways to get involved with the actual event:

·         Join the “Friends of Foundation 2” group and donate money.

·         Become a “Friend of Foundation 2″ and sleep out!

·         Attend the resource fair or show your support at the event.

·         Participate in the trivia night fundraiser.  (This will be held at a local church on the evening of November 12th- more details to come!)

The Sleep Out isn’t about giving participants “a taste” of what it is like to be homeless, although some leave with a tiny glimpse of how challenging such a situation can be. There is no way that a single night, regardless of how cold or wet, can replicate the helplessness and personal pain of truly being homeless.

This is about raising awareness of the problem and its sources. It is about raising a few dollars to help out. This is about making our community better for all of us. The Linn County Veteran Affairs Office and Community Circle of Care invite the public to participate in the annual Sleep Out for the Homeless event in Cedar Rapids during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

Participants spend the night outside from 5pm to 6am regardless of weather conditions to discuss, think, and learn about homelessness in our community and throughout the nation. Pledges and sponsorships are gathered by participants and used to fund programs for the homeless throughout the year.

Cardboard is provided for creating makeshift shelters. Those attending should dress according to the weather and bring their own blankets. Cardboard will be available after 3pm for shelter construction.

Unlike the actual homeless, we will have access to indoor restrooms and security will be on site. First Presbyterian Church will host entertainment activities from 5pm-9pm and the building will be open throughout the night for participants to use the restroom. Hot soups, snacks, and beverages are donated by local partners. Most importantly, the larger community sees and better understands the challenges that face the homeless population in Iowa.

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