Friday, October 17, 2008

Sleep In for the Homeless: Post One

Tonight, I am going to try something a bit outside the box and liveblog from an awareness event being held at the City-County Building. The project, Sleep-In for the Homeless, is sponsored by Community Human Services Corporation and is designed to raise awareness AND funds in support of the individuals and families served by this agency.

Basically, a whole bunch of folks are going to have a slumber party at City Hall. From the number of lookie-lou's crawling by on Grant Avenue, the impact has begun. I'm horrid with estimating numbers but there must be nearly 100 people on site and it is just six thirty.

Some light music is playing on the sound system, folks are milling about and I'm regretting not wearing a hat. Fortunately, Ledcat has promised to stop by later this evening and bring said hat with her.

The crowd is interesting to say the least. Less than 100 feet from me stands a middle aged woman wearing a blue tiara, a group of students taking pictures of the architecture and some kids wearing tee shirts who are oblivious to the cold (or just young!). I see girls in uggg boots, lots of layered adults and sleepings bags piled as far as the eye can see.

I myself am ensconsed in the far corner next to the recycling bin and the only working outside outlet. I tried to be resourceful in preparing for this evening. I borrowed a sleeping bag from my coworker Sarah who is an outdoors enthusiast. I packed my beloved backpack (1998 and still going strong). I brought an industrial strength lawn mower extension cord just in case. I'm sitting on our summer picnic blanket. And I have my thermal water bottle and trusty old coffee cup to minimize contributions to said recycling bin.

And my brand new laptop. Thanks to Dell and DHL for deliving this beauty to me in plenty of time for the event. Thanks to Bill Peduto for making wi-fi a no-brainer for the evening *$7.99 isn't bad for an evening of live blogging).

So what can you expect? I'm going to post throughout the event (6:30 PM - 6:30 AM) and ask my "sponsors" to contribute by the post. I won't cheat by breaking things up. I'll be covering speeches by Senator Jane Orie and Senator Pippy, talking with participants and sharing some of the stuff I'm learning about the experience of being homeless. My goal is simply to bring attention, however small, to the human beings behind "the issue" Maybe you'll comment as I post. Maybe you'll contribute a pledge. Maybe you'll email me. Or maybe you'll just keep reading.

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