Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

Homeless For A Night 2022

On any given night, there are over 326,000 homeless people in the U.S., according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This is down from 2020. Part of the reason is that due to COVID-19 they did not survey all unsheltered homeless communities. Most people are spending the night either in homeless shelters or in some sort of short-term transitional housing. One quarter of homeless people are children. Tens of thousands are veterans. Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness. Many people are homeless because they cannot afford rent.

Homelessness is defined as the condition of not having a permanent place to live; only recently perceived as a societal problem. Estimates of the number of homeless people in the U.S. range from 1.5 to 3 million, and the problem exists in all major cities and a growing number of smaller communities. The leading causes of homelessness among unaccompanied individuals were lack of affordable housing; unemployment; poverty; mental illness and the lack of needed services; and substance abuse and the lack of needed services.

Who is homeless and why?

The homeless population includes people from all walks of life:

In the US, more than 2.3 million people experience homelessness each year.

– 1.36 million are children under the age of 18 years.

– 30 percent of homeless have been homeless for more than two years

– 22 percent suffer from mental illness.

– 66 percent of homeless have problems with alcohol, drug abuse or mental illness

– Average monthly income for a homeless individual is $348

– Annual number of food stamp recipients who are children is 9.3 million

– 25 percent of homeless people are employed

– 12 million children in the U.S. live below the poverty level

– 20 percent of the people in a soup kitchen line are children

“Homeless for a Night” is an opportunity for students to take action on the homeless problem. Those who participate will spend a night in front of the Pioneer Museum to discuss, think, and learn about homelessness. Although one night outside can in no way simulate homelessness, this awareness-raising activity can promote advocacy, protest, and education.

Who: GHS Leadership Class students

When: Sept. 17 (10 p.m. – 6 a.m.)

Where: Pioneer Museum

What: We will be sleeping in boxes to gain awareness of the life of the homeless.

All participants should:

Bring at least one blanket (new or gently used), which can be donated at the end of the night to the event. Blankets will be donated to the Montana Rescue Mission in Billings (a shelter for homeless people).

Make and bring one cardboard shelter which they may use with their blanket to stay warm.

Find sponsors who would be willing to donate for each hour we are homeless (eight in our case). The students have decided to collect at least $20 apiece to be donated to the FMDH Oncology department. Their goal is to collect $500.


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