More than 200 people raised over $4,000 at this year's "Night Without a Home" sleep-out on Saturday, Sept. 19, held on the St. Scholastica campus.
Beginning at 8 p.m., participants were treated to a play put on by Habitat for Humanity, followed by various workshops led by people who have actually lived without a home. After that, of course, participants spent the night outside on the CSS campus.
Shelby Murdoch, from Two Harbors High School, was participating in her second sleep out, and said it was fun to be a part of the event. "I enjoyed listening to the different stories," Murdoch said, adding that she wanted to make a change in the homelessness problem around Duluth.
Emory Travis, a 14-year-old, also participated in the sleep out, sleeping without a tent or a box to shield him from the harsh Duluth elements. "I learned a lot about self-determination and making right decisions about life," Travis said.
Bev Downs, who used to be homeless, said it is important for people to be aware of what is happening to others, to respect homeless people, and try to make a change. "Things aren't getting better," Downs said. "That's why we're here."
Though the event was deemed successful, some students suggested changes for next year. CSS student Khlail Sabra said he didn't like the idea of sleeping on the CSS lawn. "It's more of camping rather than experiencing what it is like for homeless people," Sabra said, suggesting that next year students sleep on a concrete floor.
This year's turnout was the smallest since the event began, but organizer Kim Crawford said she was pleased with it anyway. "What we did accomplish was incredible," Crawford said. "The speakers were phenomenal. Content was informative and easy to understand."