Families across the country spent a night without a bed in June to raise money to protect children from homelessness. This inaugural event was held virtually by Family Promise of Greater Phoenix, an organization that “rescues first-time homeless families from the streets and provides emergency shelter and basic needs in a sixty-day program designed to assist their return to self-sufficiency.” The organization worked with over 50 different congregations to help raise money.
With so many families in danger of losing their homes, Family Promise of Greater Phoenix wanted to find a way to show they cared about what these families are going through.
“A night without a bed is a way to join them and raise money to serve more families,” Family Promise of Greater Phoenix’s Executive Director Ted Taylor said.
For the event, each family member who participated chose where they wanted to sleep. That person would then ask their friends and family to sponsor them to sleep for a night without a bed. Taylor slept on his floor with just a blanket.
“It was quite a night of experiencing what can happen when you lose your home, and you have nowhere to go,” Taylor said.
Family Promise of Greater Phoenix raised around $21,000 from the event. However, it didn’t stop there. Families continued to donate money to the campaign even after the event ended, bringing in a total of over $30,000 in donations.
“Night Without a Bed is going to be a permanent fixture around here,” Taylor said. Family Promise of Greater Phoenix hopes to be implementing more virtual events soon.
“We are looking at innovative things that we can do in the fall,” Taylor said.
Congregations across the Valley are talking about creating a virtual Halloween event. There may be costumes and story sharing through a live broadcast, allowing everyone to participate while still respecting social distancing.
Money raised from these events will go to helping keep children off the streets. It costs roughly a $1,000 per child to help save families from homelessness.
“It’s super important that we stand beside these children and recognize that no child should ever be without a bed,” Taylor said. “The home is your health, and health is challenging to come by without a home.”