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: 662750

Reported Deaths: 12623
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion907691647
Lake48461880
Allen35897638
Hamilton32121398
St. Joseph30032513
Elkhart25403417
Vanderburgh21261379
Tippecanoe20050203
Johnson16362360
Porter15987270
Hendricks15835300
Clark11976181
Madison11756319
Vigo11625230
Monroe10343163
Delaware9842179
LaPorte9778197
Howard9059198
Kosciusko8567111
Bartholomew7464147
Warrick7422151
Hancock7409132
Floyd7217170
Wayne6640192
Grant6432157
Boone610088
Morgan6096125
Dubois5916111
Dearborn548368
Cass545099
Marshall5427104
Henry542593
Noble509778
Jackson465067
Shelby460790
Lawrence4186113
Gibson401381
Harrison400464
Clinton396153
Montgomery387283
DeKalb385878
Miami357563
Knox357485
Whitley349537
Huntington345777
Steuben338855
Wabash331876
Putnam330559
Ripley327162
Adams323549
Jasper316643
White297352
Jefferson295074
Daviess285496
Fayette271956
Decatur270988
Greene261580
Posey261231
Wells258375
Scott250850
Clay241644
LaGrange240970
Randolph225476
Spencer218030
Jennings215344
Washington211627
Sullivan203339
Fountain201642
Starke188251
Owen182353
Fulton179037
Jay177928
Carroll176518
Perry173235
Orange171250
Rush165122
Vermillion160842
Franklin159435
Tipton146741
Parke139316
Pike127832
Blackford120627
Pulaski106644
Newton96532
Brown95139
Benton92213
Crawford90713
Martin80114
Warren75814
Switzerland7548
Union67210
Ohio53711
Unassigned0431

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 968874

Reported Deaths: 17346
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1119871212
Cuyahoga957051750
Hamilton73287974
Montgomery47254892
Summit40184957
Butler35456473
Lucas35279767
Stark29356843
Warren22381276
Lorain21994391
Mahoning19444544
Lake18379305
Clermont18346212
Delaware16437136
Licking14967200
Fairfield14506160
Trumbull14315465
Greene13568214
Medina13370219
Clark12246336
Wood11506194
Portage11008160
Allen10768235
Richland10278206
Miami10011190
Muskingum8169131
Columbiana8120183
Pickaway8041104
Tuscarawas8029236
Marion7982137
Wayne7857219
Erie6872184
Ross6130137
Geauga6057129
Hancock5981114
Ashtabula5959147
Scioto5933104
Lawrence524974
Union512352
Darke5026124
Belmont491889
Huron4797118
Jefferson4790108
Sandusky476196
Seneca4671103
Athens463733
Washington462287
Mercer4582101
Auglaize455499
Shelby440970
Knox401686
Putnam3986101
Madison392147
Ashland379195
Fulton378664
Defiance3714102
Brown369242
Crawford357496
Logan354060
Preble352671
Clinton340064
Highland327756
Ottawa323267
Williams301878
Jackson289356
Champaign286646
Guernsey286234
Fayette268144
Perry267744
Morrow259225
Henry245765
Hardin244457
Holmes2430104
Coshocton235547
Van Wert229249
Gallia221846
Adams216032
Pike215228
Wyandot209353
Hocking194049
Carroll180828
Paulding160023
Meigs135037
Noble128742
Monroe116436
Morgan100834
Harrison100433
Vinton76715
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 30°
Angola
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 26°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 29°
Fort Wayne
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 30°
Lima
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 26°
Sunny, Cooler Thursday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events