Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Thursday, April 03, 2003

A Homeless Night

Earlier I had mentioned about something 'special' I had in the planning stages. Way back when I first went down under the bridge, I had the idea that one night, my husband and I were also going to stay there: for fellowship with the guys, the experience to better understand and to humble ourselves. When I met with Drew from W&M last week, he told me about their upcoming event this Fri. where they have students stay out in "The Sunken Gardens" on campus to make awareness on the situation of homelessness. By the way, everyone is welcomed to that event. Unfortunately, our family can't stay the whole night, but we do plan to attend (and we are taking the boys. They would enjoy it and probably want to stay until Sat. morn.) I told Drew that I was wanting to also plan a night like this, but make it real. How?

Anyone wanting to join in: we walk from W&M campus to the bridge because we need to be tired as the homeless are from all the walking around or biking. The only thing we take is the clothes on our back. No cell phones, pagers, laptops or money. No cardboard boxes (very few homeless sleep in a cardboard box) or sleeping bags. We stay one whole night. If you have to use the restroom, you figure out what to do or where to go. Very few places around there let the guys come in to use the bathroom or wash up and most of them close early at night. Figure out how to brush your teeth and how to eat. Yes, I would provide food, just as I do for them, but it is the same type of food and at the same time. If you want to earn money, you can go out and find an odd job for a little bit of change.

A couple of days ago, I approached the guys about this and yesterday they told me it would be OK. Now since I am working with them to reconnect with everyday life, we continuously practice "give and take." So, since they are allowing this, my husband and I are going to put them up in a hotel for the night. Although they like this idea of others having this experience, they don't want to be there due to keeping their identity for now. That is a fair trade we thought. Although they guys are wanting to clean up down there, I asked if they would wait until we have our night 'under the stars.' So it is as close to what they experience as possible.

So, I am trying to schedule a date for this. Obviously it will be a Friday night and not too far off from now. Those who might be interested in the experience, please email me or call 741-2044. I also think this would be good for at least one rep from each agency to participate in so they can see what these guys go through first hand.


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