Sleeping in cars raises $6K for Places for People
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | March 7, 2019|
After sleeping in a car outside of the Haliburton library Friday night, Ebonne Fayar said she’s more aware of homelessness. She said she was prepared, sharing a car for added body heat and having blankets. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have been able to do it. Even then, “I almost backed out a couple of times,” she said in discussing Places for People’s Sleeping in Cars event this past Friday night and Saturday morning. She shared a car with Nikole Robinson, who described the experience as “raw” since it was cold and cramped and she felt vulnerable.
About 20 people, including families with children, slept out to raise awareness of, and money for, homelessness. Approximately $6,000 was raised. It will go towards the charity’s latest project in Cardiff. Three people slept out in Haliburton, six in Minden and 10 in Wilberforce.
Nataly Mylan said the Wilberforce event included children ranging in age from four to 13 along with their families. “Overall, the night went well with more of a focus on how homelessness would impact families. How they would cope with parenting without adequate resources and lack of space and privacy,” she said.
In Minden, the six sleepers were joined by supporters around a campfire and members of County Road One came with their guitars to entertain. In the morning, the Minden Community Food Bank’s Marilynne Lesperance and Joanne Barnes supplied breakfast.
Fay Martin of Places for People was one of the sleepers. “My bones ache,” she shared on Saturday morning. “My car is really little and although I am fairly short, I couldn’t stretch out all night.” With achy hips, she was headed home for a soak in the tub. She added, “The other thing that I think you would miss over time is community. Even last night I had the thought if I was just all by myself, no gathering around the fire, chatting with folks and feeling like you’re part of the community, how would I feel? I would feel really bad.”
She said some people “slept like a baby, other people were a little crunched. We all survived relatively happily. We’re all glad we don’t have to do it again tonight [Saturday night].”
Anna Froebe said that when she was soliciting pledges, she was asked “How many homeless people have a vehicle? And I said, in this county, probably more than you realize because that’s maybe their only asset. “It might not be their vehicle either,” said Martin. “It might be one that’s sitting out there because the owners are down south.”
Organizers said there is some interest in holding a similar event next year.
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.