See how you like it

Have you ever been homeless? On Saturday, Oct. 24, you’ll get your chance to personally take in what it means to have to fashion your own temporary shelter out of whatever materials are available — cardboard boxes, duct tape, possibly some string.

The occasion, “One Night Out,” sponsored by Montreat College, will be held at the Western Carolina Rescue Mission campus in Asheville.

Dinner will be served that evening (consider yourself lucky), as well as breakfast the next morning (make that really lucky). Although bathroom facilities will be provided during the night, you’ll be sleeping out of doors, protected only by your (pardon the phrase) home-made shelter.

The purpose of the evening is not to generate sympathy or pity for the homeless, but rather to give participants — in a fairly controlled environment — some sense of the daily experience of those who live on the streets of Asheville, and most every other city in the country.

While the occasion includes a schedule of events aimed at facilitating discussion and understanding, most of the time will be unstructured, leaving participants with nowhere to go and nothing to do. A wake-up call will be given in time to get breakfast; afterward, the cardboard village will be disassembled, belongings will be packed up, and the group will reconvene in the Mission Chapel for a period of contemplation, sharing and loosening-up of stiff muscles. A panel of homeless and formerly homeless people will be available to answer questions.

For more information, call Bob Cummings at 254-0471.

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