In DuPage County, it would take 95 hours of work per week at minimum wage to earn enough money to rent a two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Out of Reach 2011 report.
The challenge for a single parent of two kids earning minimum wage to survive in our community is almost insurmountable, which is why more and more families are being forced into homelessness.
To combat this crisis, Bridge Communities is planning its ninth annual Sleep Out Saturday to help homeless families in DuPage County.
Sleep Out Saturday is a county-wide event to raise money for and awareness of family homelessness in DuPage County.
This Saturday, approximately 2,000 DuPage residents will sleep outside during Sleep Out Saturday. This year’s event, themed “Imagine,” will feature about 75 outdoor sleep out sites in DuPage yards and parking lots, with adults and students sleeping in boxes, tents and cars. The 24-year-old organization is challenging every single “sleeper” to imagine changing the life of a homeless DuPage family and then turn that image into reality.
Sleep Out Saturday will kick off with an outdoor rally at 7 p.m. in downtown Glen Ellyn, 505 Crescent Blvd. The free rally is open to the public and will feature music, video, and live testimonials from Bridge Communities clients.
Last year, Sleep Out Saturday raised more than $130,000 for Bridge Communities’ Transitional Housing Program, which serves more than 100 families annually. The organization’s services also include life-skills mentoring, financial counseling, employment training, tutoring and an auto repair and donation program. With client families having an even harder time maintaining employment and making ends meet, Bridge Communities continues to increase the services it provides.
Everyone in DuPage County is invited to participate in Sleep Out Saturday or to make a contribution. Imagine the difference that we can make together.
For more information on Sleep Out Saturday, to participate, or to sponsor a “sleeper,” call (630) 545-0610 or visit www.SleepOutSaturday.org.
Check out Sleep Out Saturday on Facebook.
Editor's note: The following is a press release from Bridge Communities.