Family Promise of Greater Phoenix is organizing a virtual event called Night Without a Bed to raise awareness and funds for families experiencing homelessness. The one-night campaign, scheduled for June 20, invites members of the community to give up their bed for the night.
“No child ever dreams that they might face homelessness, that they will need to sleep in a car or on the street. Unfortunately, this has become the norm for far too many children in Arizona,” said Ted Taylor, executive director at Family Promise of Greater Phoenix. “We hope the community will spend a night without a bed so that other children don’t have to.”
Family Promise, a nonprofit organization that rescues primarily first-time homeless families and their pets and helps them return to independence, is asking community members to participate in Night Without A Bed by giving up their bed for a single night to experience what homeless families may experience on a nightly basis. Participants are encouraged to ask their friends and family to do the same and to ask for pledges and donations for Family Promise. Through the campaign, Family Promise hopes to raise awareness and funds for supporting homeless families in the Valley.
Currently, Family Promise is sheltering more than a dozen families at their day centers in south Scottsdale. Before the coronavirus pandemic, Family Promise says it relied on its network of volunteer churches and synagogues to shelter and feed the families they serve while Family Promise assisted these families on their journey back to self-sufficiency. Family Promise has had to suspend its community-based model to protect its volunteers and families from the potential spread of the virus. This operations shift has cost the nonprofit money and resources to continue its mission to shelter and find permanent housing for homeless families.
“While it’s been a challenge to adapt to our new reality, we’ve never given up on our mission to help families in need,” added Taylor. “When you make the decision to support Family Promise of Greater Phoenix through Night Without A Bed, you are helping to ensure that no child will need to worry where they will sleep at night.”
According to the organization, one in 16 children in the U.S. experiences homelessness by the first grade. These experiences can have lasting negative effects on children, as children who face homelessness are more likely to drop out of school, repeat a grade, suffer from depression and attempt suicide.
Family Promise has a goal of raising $100,000 through the Night Without a Bed campaign. Funds raised will help shelter and rehouse homeless families across the Valley. Members of the community can join the live-streamed event on Family Promise’s Facebook page at 6pm June 20 at facebook.com/familypromiseaz. Families and individuals can pledge donations and RSVP for Family Promise’s Night Without a Bed at familypromiseaz.org/nightwithoutabed.