FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Members of the community spent the weekend experiencing homelessness in the crisp autumn air. 'One homeless night' is an event to raise awareness for homeless youth in the Interior.
Those who participated raised funds for the organization known as 'the Door.' Each volunteer was sponsored to experience sleeping out at night. They got a firsthand look at what life could be like as a homeless youth, and learned some of the everyday challenges that come with homelessness.
Marylee Bates, Executive director of Fairbanks Youth advocates, spoke about One Homeless Night, while Mayor Matherly explained why he participated in this event.
Bates said, "Well were having our annual fundraiser. One homeless night, we do it every year. This is, I think our sixth time we've been doing this. It is chilly and the coats are starting to come on, so that's always a good experience for people to figure out what that means to sleep outside instead of the comforts of their beds."
Mayor Matherly said, "When the weather is cold, it becomes a matter of life or death. So we're all having fun here tonight and that's great and I really appreciate everyone's involvement, but we have to remember the deeper more important meaning of this. Plus my daughter is homeless, and I'm doing this for her. She lives in Seattle, she is in and out of homeless shelters, and it breaks my heart and I hope it stretches out all over the State."
One Homeless night' is an event that takes place every year.