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One Night Without a Home raises awareness of homelessness

For one night, community members braved the cold, and experienced homelessness.

Posted: Nov 13, 2017 11:41 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- For one night only, boxes were home to some Fort Wayne residents. 

When asked how he was feeling a few hours in, Hunter Searles response? "Cold." 

With their boxes, blankets, and the support of family, they made the most of the night. 

"Got some boxes from work, and cobbled it together to just try to create a little bit of shelter, I guess. [I'm] about as ready as I'm going to be," said Andy Binkley, another participant. 

When things got hard, they reminded themselves that some of Fort Wayne's homeless don't even have a box. 

"Some people just have blankets. Some people just have the clothes on their back, and they sleep under bridges. They sleep anywhere they can find, by the library. I mean, these people literally have nothing. [But] these people are some of the happiest, and nicest people I've ever met, and they have nothing," Searles said. 

Gregory Mitchell knows first-hand what it's like to be homeless. 

"There's been times where I had a home and a stable situation, but that would fall through, and there's times where I have slept outside. I've slept under bridges, and like construction areas in the giant sewer pipes," Mitchell said. 

Mitchell said places like The Rescue Mission are changing lives. 

"Thank God for the mission because they don't turn anyone away, especially in whether like this," Mitchell said. 

He said the One Night Without a Home project is eye-opening.

"I feel like Fort Wayne tries to disregard the homeless, they try to punish us for being homeless... People don't realize that everyone in this economy is one paycheck away from becoming homeless," Mitchell said. 

The next morning, people were exchanging stories of moving to their cars to escape the cold, but they told me the experience was only a fraction of what homeless people really go through. 

"By doing this, I hope it makes people aware that they're not faceless, they're not invisible. They're somebody's mother, daughter, father," said Carol Ann Poindexter, another participant. 

Mark Searles said after participating in the event in the past, many people have asked if it changed him. 

"My answer, in circumstances like this, it doesn't change you, it's a constant changing, renewing concept," Searles said. 

The Rescue Mission is still raising money through this week. If you want to make a donation, visit their website here

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1130719

Reported Deaths: 17736
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1468762242
Lake732391255
Allen68004883
Hamilton51739488
St. Joseph50459650
Elkhart40619547
Vanderburgh34963497
Tippecanoe31212276
Johnson27963467
Hendricks26585385
Porter25969387
Madison21318457
Clark20392279
Vigo19244309
LaPorte17405261
Delaware17004303
Howard16942315
Monroe16794220
Kosciusko14447167
Hancock13259186
Bartholomew13180191
Warrick12320190
Wayne12200269
Grant12181247
Floyd12096226
Morgan10552192
Boone9966124
Noble9429123
Marshall9295147
Henry9268169
Dearborn9053100
Dubois8877140
Shelby8402130
Cass8241128
Lawrence8134185
DeKalb7933109
Jackson779993
Huntington7761116
Montgomery7213123
Gibson7179118
Harrison7031100
Knox6958116
Steuben676589
Miami6675114
Whitley667260
Putnam651286
Clinton633179
Wabash6323111
Jasper622192
Jefferson5946105
Ripley565994
Adams547981
Daviess5124118
Scott498980
Wells4894106
White486069
Greene4749101
Clay468662
Decatur4659110
Fayette462597
Jennings457167
LaGrange432291
Posey412944
Randolph4010107
Washington393656
Fountain382264
Fulton368374
Spencer365147
Starke361474
Owen358577
Sullivan351155
Jay336450
Orange335272
Rush314833
Carroll301639
Franklin295244
Perry292853
Vermillion285958
Tipton253367
Parke251630
Pike251244
Blackford224944
Pulaski213759
Newton185052
Brown179750
Benton171717
Crawford170729
Martin152619
Switzerland149412
Warren137816
Union125116
Ohio92913
Unassigned0599

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1735925

Reported Deaths: 26851
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1807941843
Cuyahoga1705042655
Hamilton1146441544
Montgomery811601405
Summit728891210
Lucas637861027
Butler57319814
Stark544971183
Lorain42941645
Warren36238417
Mahoning36168788
Lake32818501
Clermont31601369
Trumbull27766620
Delaware27462185
Licking26929344
Medina26408353
Fairfield24875287
Greene24585373
Clark22391390
Portage21591283
Richland21339342
Wood20348248
Allen19172326
Miami17486352
Columbiana17078335
Muskingum16882207
Wayne15914307
Tuscarawas14631362
Marion13477196
Ashtabula12980237
Erie12832199
Scioto12586188
Pickaway12326155
Ross11824226
Hancock11659175
Geauga11090179
Lawrence10729172
Belmont10548234
Huron9891159
Jefferson9724228
Union966575
Sandusky9465166
Seneca9020161
Knox8893176
Washington8738159
Darke8446181
Athens842897
Ashland8130152
Auglaize8042120
Shelby7575135
Defiance7431117
Crawford7376150
Fulton7284113
Brown7225116
Logan7087111
Guernsey701786
Mercer6964100
Highland6822120
Clinton6554106
Williams655299
Madison653990
Preble6343140
Putnam6300122
Jackson586597
Champaign586187
Perry571279
Coshocton5700108
Ottawa5696102
Morrow524665
Fayette499072
Hardin4960100
Gallia475878
Van Wert470895
Pike468478
Adams4638110
Henry440380
Hocking414293
Holmes4044141
Wyandot379975
Carroll373678
Paulding327551
Meigs307961
Monroe237261
Noble221949
Morgan219439
Harrison216953
Vinton189738
Unassigned06
Fort Wayne
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Hi: 24° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 23°
Angola
Mostly Cloudy
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Hi: 24° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 13°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
22° wxIcon
Hi: 23° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 22°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 25° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 23°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 25° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 23°
After a cold start to the week, warmer air begins to filter back into the region Wednesday.
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