Sleep without a bed Saturday … then do something to fight family homelessness

Published 8:31 am Thursday, October 20, 2022

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By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

Don’t sleep in a bed on Saturday night.

Sleep on the sofa. Sleep in a tent in the yard. Sleep in a chair.

Take it a step further, sleep somewhere outdoors as if you had nowhere else to stay, improvising for shelter and a pillow, finding what you can to stay warm and dry.

Then, take a photo and post it online; and think of ways you can help fight homelessness.

Lisa Reynolds, executive director of Family Promise of Davie County, slept on her sofa last year as she participated in the Night Without a Bed social media challenge to raise awareness on family homelessness.

It’s a subject she knows well. The organization has helped dozens of families – that’s right, paents with children – to find a home and a path to keep them there.

Participants are asked to spend one night sleeping anywhere outside of their bed to support Family Promise.

Family Promise is hosting this year’s Night Without a Bed on Oct. 22.

Family Promise of Davie County along with more than 200 affiliates nationwide will be participating.

Night Without a Bed participants are asked to sleep anywhere without a bed for one night: cars, a tent, a treehouse, living room floor, a couch, etc., and use the hashtag #NightWithoutABed2022 to post a video or photo sharing their experiences.

Studies show that every year in America, more than 3 million children experience homelessness. These children are 8-9 times more likely to repeat a grade, 3 times more likely to be placed in special education programs, and 7 times more likely to attempt suicide. 42% will drop out of school at some point and 47% suffer from anxiety, depression, or withdrawal.

“Spreading awareness is something everyone can do – young or old. It doesn’t cost you anything and really makes a differencem” Reynolds said.

“We encourage anyone and everyone to participate in Night Without A Bed, but this year we have challenged local church youth groups and boy/girl scout troops to host a lock-in/camp-out for Night Without A Bed. These groups will learn about family homelessness, the impacts it has, and what they can do to get involved.”

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