I’ve had the honor and pleasure of photographing the annual One Winter Night fundraiser to support C-U at Home. This non-profit organization exists to help our friends without an address in the Champaign-Urbana community. Every February, members and leaders of the community raise money and sleep outside on the cold streets of downtown Champaign. The “box dwellers” are given a cardboard appliance box (think refrigerator size) and can bring their own blankets and warming supplies as they choose. There is always a warming center set up which over the last couple years has also transformed into a forum throughout the early part of the evening where you can sit and listen to community leaders talk about homelessness in the area and they also address questions and concerns.
This annual event is intended to raise about 2/3 of the annual budget for C-U at Home, and most times they are able to make their goal! This year the goal was $250,000 and about a week after the event, they surpassed that number! C-U at Home helps with transportation to rehabilitation centers and they offer a daytime drop-in center where those without an address can shower, use computers to apply for jobs, and build friendships. The organization has also helped several people get off the streets and into homes of their own.
To get involved in the 2020 One Winter Night event, contact C-U at Home.