Students brave cold and snow on Night to Fight

Homelessness: having no home or permanent place of residence.

However, homelessness is so much more than this 8 word definition. Homelessness can happen to anyone, including yourself. Homelessness does not define a person, but is instead a temporary situation.

Homelessness has many contributing factors such as: chronic poverty, job loss or underemployment, a lack of affordable housing, domestic abuse, addiction, mental illnesses and many more. About 564,708 people are experiencing in the United States on any given night – of which, about 138,000 are children under the age of 18.

For many families, homelessness can be only 2 paychecks away from a family at any given time if they are classified as lower, middle, or upper class.

Because of these shocking statistics, Holy Family has made an effort to be a part of an event for a number of years referred to as ’Night to Fight Homelessness’ in which students from other surrounding Christian schools partner up to spend a chilly November night out in the cold and learn more about homelessness and what we can do to help the cause.

This year, Holy Family planned and hosted the event on our football field. According to Mr. Dols, this is the first year a group of students have ever had to face the night in snow, however the attendees persevered, just as any homeless person would have to do, unfortunately, as a part of their daily life.

The night started out with activities in the snow on the field to keep us moving until the attendees set up their tents or boxes for the night. Upon Cretin-Derham’s arrival, the two groups gathered to learn more about homelessness and ate soup together, before setting out to brave the cold.

With as many students jam-packed into one tent or a box for body heat, the girls took over one half of the field with boys on the other. Even with 4 pairs of pants, 5 layers of socks, 3 top-under layers, a winter coat, winter boots, and a hat and gloves, the bitter 33 degree weather bit in. It was crazy to see how, even with all my layers – which many homeless people don’t even have – I, along with others, were still cold.

Sleeping conditions were far from comfortable which is something we students could never even begin to simulate, as we are blessed with the ability to go home the following morning around 6 am to a warm shower or bed.

The night truly proved to be an eye-opening experience. The number of people who have to face nights like these on a regular basis is astounding. Thankfully, there are organizations like the Simpson House Shelter (which the event raised money for) to help raise awareness and contribute to the adversity that so many people struggle with.