calendar November 19, 2012 in Communications, Congregations

Sleeping Out to Fight Homelessness

About 40 young people spent a brisk November night in cardboard boxes on the lawn of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Quakertown, to help bring attention to the hidden problem of homelessness. After a rally in the midst of downtown Quakertown, where they used colorful signs to raise awareness of homelessness to Friday night drivers, the youth cut out and decorated cardboard box shelters to sleep in. “We need to be thankful for what we have,” 11-year-old Jairus McMillan told The Intelligencer, a local newspaper.

“We need to get out there and provide help for the homeless and try to get other people to care,” added Alicia Loch, 16.

qhomeless0The following night about 250 people held a similar sleep-out in Souderton. Both events raised funds for the Keystone Opportunity Center, which runs shelter programs for residents in upper Bucks and Montgomery counties.

Homelessness “is a hidden problem in upper Bucks,” says Kathie Afflerbach, Christian education director at St. John’s, who organized the sleep-out. “We don’t have people sleeping on heating vents” so people don’t see it, but the problem is real, she said. Though officially local officials count a handful of homeless persons, local social service agencies serve a number of individuals and families who sleep in their cars, or in local parks, or move in and out of local motels.


Photos by Carl Kosola/The Intelligencer