I’m Going To Be Homeless

On Oct. 16, 2008 I’m participating in Cardboard Box City and will be sleeping outside to experience homelessness firsthand. I’ll be sleeping out in a tent, tarp or cardboard box at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds with a group from my church and others from around the Twin Cities. The event will be raising money and awareness for two local organizations that provide emergency shelter and affordable housing, Families Moving Forward and Project Home.

About 80% of homeless people are in need of short term, immediate help. They find themselves on the street for a number of reasons, but the vast majority get help and get back on their feet in a short time. Project Home offers that help as an overflow shelter hosted at local churches that provides added capacity when the county service center is full. My church hosts Project Home every June (our recent building project included a shower facility specifically for Project Home).

Everyone attending Cardboard Box City is trying to raise money for Families Moving Forward and Project Home to help homeless families. I’m shooting to raise $100 in “rent”. I hope you’ll consider donating to support my effort.

How You Can Donate:

  • Donate Online – The online form is a little convoluted, but on step 2 the 5th item lets you designate your gift to Project Home. Next you can note that your gift is for “Cardboard Box City: Kevin Hendricks” to go towards my “rent” (or just put “Cardboard Box City”—I don’t care who gets the credit). This method is tax deductible. The one drawback is that I won’t know if you donate this way, so let me know if you do go this route (or just keep it anonymous—I don’t need to know).
  • Donate w/ PayPal – You can make a donation directly to me using PayPal and I’ll pass the funds on to Cardboard Box City. This method would not be tax deductible.
  • Donate by Check – Make your check payable to “FMF” or “SPACC-Project Home” and send it to me (contact me for my mailing address). This method is tax deductible.
  • Donate in Person – If you’re in the Twin Cities you can just give me cash or check (made payable to “FMF” or “SPACC-Project Home”). This is also tax deductible, assuming you give me your address so they can mail you a receipt.

Thanks for your support. While I love the call of Bono and the One Campaign to “make poverty history,” I’m not convinced that will ever happen (though we can still try). I prefer the approach of Shane Claiborne to “make poverty personal.” This is my small attempt to do just that.

3 thoughts on “I’m Going To Be Homeless”

  1. Hello Kevin,

    I came across your blog when I was doing an internet search on homeless in Minnesota, because I have never been homeless before and it seems inevitable. My husband and I have two kids and no way to pay rent this month. The county could pay it for a month, but only if we could prove that we can pay for next month’s rent. I am a student. I decided to get a degree so that I could provide a larger yearly income for our family. I actually thought that I would someday be able to purchase a house if I had a decent job. My husband has brought in just enough money to pay our rent and some of our expenses as a Taxi driver. He is no longer generating an income, as fewer and fewer people have the ability to afford his services.

    I have a 3.75 GPA and was planning on graduating this December, but now see that that is not going to happen. Even if I do graduate, I don’t think the economy will be stable enough to obtain employment. We are going to lose our home soon. I have been applying for jobs and sending my resume everywhere, with no success. I am willing to work for any wage, but still…. nothing. My husband has also been looking for work since he has not been generating income as a taxi driver.

    I was wondering, what it was like when you lived in a tent. Where do homeless people shower? Will they take my children away from me?

    What is going to happen to us? Our internet, home phone and cell phones will soon be disconnected and we will be homeless. When that happens, will we just disappear? Will we go from being ‘normal functioning citizens of society’ to invisible homeless people that carry stigmas such as lazy and drug-using? Will we wear dirty clothes and hold signs at freeway off-ramps? The saddest part is that it is not only our family. It is happening all over Minnesota and the U.S. What is going to happen when winter comes?
    I just want to be with my family and I want to keep my children safe and educated. How can I do this? What are my options? How does one prevent homelessness?

    Please, don’t feel burdened by all of my questions; I know that you will not be able to answer them all. I really just want to know if I am going to be able to survive out there with my children or not.

  2. Elizabeth, I wish you all the best and will pray. On a practical note, have you asked around at any local churches what type of help they might be willing to offer? You are a student, you have a future (and it’s not that far off, even). And do remember that evictions take time – in the meantime if your husband or yourself could manage to scrape together a little bit of employment to get you through, even odd jobs or babysitting, you might be able to come up with some rent to stave off an eviction a while longer; but even if not, it takes months.

    I know what you are going through – I truly do. We’ve been in foreclosure and we’ve never been in good financial shape. But since you’re so close to your graduation goal and the (hopefully) promise of a better career, you mustn’t give up. It’s hard and sometimes it seems utterly hopeless, but for fortunately able-bodied, smart, dedicated people like you, where there is a will there is almost always a way. Do talk to some churches, though – I realize many people’s first thought is government and of course, talk to them too, but see what voluntary organizations might be willing to help when they know your story, ok? I’m rooting for you from afar.

  3. Hey Elizabeth, I’ve e-mailed you twice now and haven’t heard anything, so I just hope things are getting better and you were able to find some help and hope. Let us know if there’s anything more we can do. Thanks.

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