Posted at: 11/10/2012 6:47 PM
Updated at: 11/10/2012 6:51 PM
By: Travis Dill
Tom Wondolkowski has organized the event called A Night Without a Home for several years after it was passed on to him.
“I decided to organize it because it was too important of an event to go away,” Wondolkowski said. “I just didn't want it to stop. We have too many homeless in our community,” he said.
Dozens will brave the wind and rain on Saturday to know what it's like to be homeless. Supporters leave the comfort of their home to spend 24 hours in Superior's City Park.
The event means a lot to Wondolkowski.
“I do it primarily because it gives me an opportunity to practice something that we talk about in my rotary club, and that's service above self. And it's the most meaningful thing I do all year,” Wondolkowski said.
Free food is available for visitors, but organizers ask the public for winter clothing and food shelf donations. Free food is available to those that head to the park.
The group also collects monetary donations and motorists were generous Saturday afternoon on the corner of Belknap St. and Tower Ave.
Leaders from several local aid organizations attended the event and hope it will dispell myths about homelessness.
“We have so many working poor that are homeless and they are struggling just to make ends meet. And they don't necessarily have an alcohol or drug issue, they're just trying to make ends meet,” Rev. Barb Certa-Werner said.
Millie Rounsville, Director of Northwest Community Services, said the event helps people realize how serious the problem really is.
“People are living in far worse conditions than we are. We are only doing this for one night. There's families that are doing this day-in-day-out when it is forty below,” Rounsville said.
And she says support is needed because the future is looking dim.
“I don't think with our current economy, foreclosures a lot of these other issues that it's going to get better in the short future,” Rounsville said.
The group said visitors can stop by throughout Saturday night and they will be accepting donations until noon on Sunday.