Homeless advocates camp out for cause

Mar. 09, 2013 @ 04:12 PM

On any given night, 50 to 100 people are forced to sleep on the streets of High Point.
Local homeless advocates hope by sleeping outside themselves, they can bring that number down.
Open Door Ministries, West End Ministries, Partners Ending Homelessness and several organizations and clubs from High Point University are organizing a Camp Out for Homelessness on March 22. The event will take place in the parking lot in front of J.C. Penny at Oak Hollow Mall from 7 p.m. until 8 a.m. March 23.
The goal of the campout is to raise awareness of the number of people who are homeless in our community who sleep outside every day.
“This is something that Chris Gillespie, with West End Ministries, and I have been talking about for a little over a year now,” said Steve Key, executive director of Open Door Ministries. “We both work with people who are homeless and people who are living on the streets. We talk about homelessness, but I don’t know if we as a society really stop and think that there are people who slept outside last night, as cold as it was.”
Key is hoping to get a couple of hundred people out for the evening. There will be activities, music, food and a showing of the movie “Pursuit of Happyness.”  There also will be opportunities to raise funds for the participating organizations that work with the homeless in the community.
“We are pretty excited about it being its first year,” Key said. “I’ve been really excited about the way High Point University has come along. The kids over there are just unbelievably excited about the event and getting people involved. We are pretty excited about where we are.”
High Point Police and HPU security will be at the event throughout the night and a sign-in process will be in place to make sure that organizers know who is in attendance. There also will be an option to leave at a certain point for those who do not want to stay all night.
“By sleeping outside for the night, we are hoping to bring other people’s attention to the fact that there are people who sleep outside every night in our community. We just don’t think that’s right,” Key said.
For more information on how to participate, contact Key at (336) 885-0191 or stevebkey@hotmail.com.
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