Mission Spotlight: RAIHN's Car City
RAIHN Car City 2017 – Cold, Wet, and LOTS of FUN!
The Youth Group of Greater Scottsville and the Joint Youth Group of Rochester participated in the Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (RAIHN) Car City 2017 from May 6 into 7. Do you remember that night? It was 38 degrees and it rained really hard, non-stop, all night. Yep, we were sleeping in cars during that weather!!
What do you know about homelessness in Monroe County? After sleeping overnight in a car during RAIHN’s Car City, we now know a lot more!
We found out that homeless families are often HIDDEN. They may sleep in parking lots over night and move their cars in the early morning hours. We found out that over 750 individuals are homeless each night in Monroe County – and some are right here in the Scottsville area! Three families in the last four months got housed by RAIHN after sleeping and living in their cars. You see, giving up an apartment and keeping the car saves on rent money. It allows the head of the family to still drive to work and get the kids to school and school activities.
During the event, we heard from some of the “graduates” of the RAIHN program, who are among the 89% of families that remain in permanent housing after their time spent in the RAIHN program.
Some quotes from participants:
“Homeless (with RAIHN) was better than home!”
“RAIHN gives you time to breathe.”
“(RAIHN) allowed me and my daughters to be a family.”
We (those staying overnight in cars) realized that we WANT so many things and we really NEED so little, but many in our area don’t even have what they need. We found that sleeping overnight in a car for us was a one-time deal, and it was fun! There are too many families that live in their cars in Monroe County, and it’s NOT fun and isn’t a one-time deal for them.
Please go to www.RAIHN.org to learn more about the RAIHN program, how you can help, and to sponsor one of our youth or Diane Hoener. You can find us under the Joint Youth Group of Rochester. You can also contribute by contacting Diane at (585) 694-0881.
Thank you for supporting us by helping homeless families in our area. You probably know someone that has been homeless in their lifetime and don’t even realize it!
Diane Hoener (youth group coordinator)
J. K. (7th grader at Wheatland-Chili)
We slept in a tarp-covered car overnight to simulate a night of homelessness. It was raining and 38 degrees. Just like many homeless folks in Rochester, we huddled in the back seat to stay warm under a sleeping bag. For one night, it was fun. We couldn't imagine a whole family, with clothes and belongings, with homework and school projects, living for weeks or months this way. This was an eye- opening, heart-wrenching experience!
For past Mission Spotlight ministries, click here