Alexandria, VA – When was the last time you slept outside in a cardboard box? Good Shepherd Catholic Church in the Fairfax County portion of Alexandria is raising awareness of homelessness and a lack of stable housing options with its seventh annual “Homeless for a Night Campout” on Saturday, Nov. 23.
“The annual ‘Homeless for a Night Campout’ gives all parishioners, and especially our youth, an opportunity to be in solidarity with people who are homeless,” said Father Thomas Ferguson, Pastor of Good Shepherd Catholic Church and Vicar General for the Diocese of Arlington. “Those who camp out literally feel the pain of a cold and damp dark night, and parishioners who see the camp on the way into church are moved to be ever more generous in providing food, clothing and shelter for those who are homeless in our community.”
There are nearly 6,000 homeless people in Virginia, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
Participants are not allowed to use power tools, electronics, or a hammer and nails. The cardboard shelters will be built starting on Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. and campers will sleep outside the church at 8710 Mount Vernon Highway.
Christ House, which provides transitional housing for 14 homeless men in the City of Alexandria, will also make a presentation, and, along with church volunteers, will make an evening meal for all camping out.
Good Shepherd will also be collecting socks for the Rising Hope United Methodist Church hypothermia shelter.