Locals sleep outside to being awareness to homelessness - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Locals sleep outside to being awareness to homelessness

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Dozens of Chattanoogans will be spending the night out doors Saturday evening, in an effort to bring awareness to the issue of homelessness.

Students and adults alike were thinking outside of the box as they looked for ways to keep themselves warm on a cold November night.

Landon Anderson showed Channel 3 around his new home for the evening, one that was made from nothing more than a few cardboard boxes.

"It just tells me how appreciative I am to have a house and everything," said Anderson.

It's an exercise Family Promise of Greater Chattanooga is doing to teach everyone about the growing number of homeless families.

"There's something about being out at 2 in the morning at the First Tennessee Pavilion when it's cold and dark that really drives the point home," said Mary Ellen Galloway, Executive Director, Family Promise of Greater Chattanooga.

Galloway says homelessness isn't something they aren't familiar with in the Chattanooga area, but it is something they're seeing more of with a 50 percent increase in homeless families.

"We have had an economic down turn, some people lost their jobs and others have jobs, but they're not paying living wages," said Galloway. "In the community tonight, there are families living in their cars, doubled and tripled up in un-safe places living outside."

Misty Anderson said the experience would be memorable for her son.

"We pass it every day and don't pay attention to it and I want him to be aware of it," said Anderson. "To let him know the life, what they're going through, that they started out just like us and just the hardships in life."

"Awareness is the first step to change. People have to know there is a problem before they can get behind it and get engaged in the solution," said Galloway.

The Family Promise of Greater Chattanooga is hoping to raise nearly $10,000 total to go towards operation costs and programs they provide.

If you missed out, they tell us there are many ways you can help fight against homelessness.

To learn more about it, click here.

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