Family Promise of Greater Phoenix, a nonprofit organization that rescues primarily first-time homeless families and their pets and helps them return to independence, hosted a virtual event June 20.
The event, Night Without a Bed, was held to raise awareness and funds for families experiencing homelessness, according to a release.
The one-night campaign invited members of the community to give up their bed for the night and challenge friends and family to do the same.
Night Without a Bed has so far raised $21,475 for Family Promise to assist homeless families and children in their journeys back to self-sufficiency, the release states.
Nearly 250 participants participated in the live virtual event and 50 people pledged to give up their bed for the night.
“Night Without a Bed demonstrated one of the many challenges that a homeless child can experience on a nightly basis,” Ted Taylor, executive director at Family Promise, said in the release. “Imagine being a child and not having your own bed to sleep in, how scary it might be, and how lacking a good night’s sleep can impact your life overall. We thank everyone for participating in Night Without a Bed, as no child should have to worry about where they will sleep at night.”
One in 16 children in the U.S. experiences homelessness by the first grade. These experiences can have lasting negative effects on children, as children who face homelessness are more likely to drop out of school, repeat a grade, suffer from depression and attempt suicide, the release states.
Currently, Family Promise is sheltering more than a dozen families at their day centers in south Scottsdale.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Family Promise relied on its network of volunteer churches and synagogues to shelter and feed the families they serve while Family Promise assisted these families on their journey back to self-sufficiency.
Family Promise has had to suspend its community-based model to protect their volunteers and families from potential spread of the virus. This operations shift has cost the nonprofit money and resources to continue its mission to shelter and find permanent housing for homeless families, the release states.
Fundraising for the Night Without a Bed campaign continues through July 8. Donations can be made to support Family Promise’s mission at FamilyPromiseAZ.org.