Congregation to Sleep Outdoors March 21 to Raise Awareness of Homelessness

March 14, 2009

Members of the Unitarian Universalist Church West aged eight to 80 will spend the night on Saturday, March 21st in tents and cardboard shelters on the church grounds in Brookfield. This intergenerational event is designed to raise awareness of homelessness – not only in the Milwaukee metro area, but country-wide.

 

“The recession has increased human need to alarming levels,” said the Rev. Suzelle Lynch, Minister. “We believe that even a brief experience of the vulnerability of our homeless neighbors will inspire church members to greater acts of generosity and advocacy.”

 

The Cardboard City is part of the church’s year-long campaign on homelessness called “No More Turning Away,” a joint effort with other Unitarian Universalist churches in Wisconsin and Illinois. Those who participate will have the chance to hear from formerly homeless people about their experiences, and share a simple meal before bunking down in boxes on the church lawn. Lynch and Maria O’Connor, the congregation’s Director of Religious Education, have offered numerous learning activities on homelessness for adults, teens and children over the course of the year. They hope that the Cardboard City will inspire action in the wider community as well as in the church.

 

At a time when many churches are reporting shortages in their offering plates, the church has asked its members to dig deeper into their pockets, and as a result has given several thousand dollars so far to Repairers of the Breach in Milwaukee and The Women’s Center in Waukesha -- again, as a way to address homelessness. The church also is learning from its own struggles to understand homelessness. “We’re a church with both urban and suburban members and we’re used to thinking of ourselves as people who live comfortably,” said Lynch. “But our focus this year has given those among us who once were homeless, or whose housing is threatened, an opportunity to speak up. Homelessness can happen no matter your race or class or background.”

 

Since September when “No More Turning Away” began, UU Church West members and friends have donated hundreds of pounds of food and clothing to homeless shelters and other non-profits in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. Church volunteers also regularly provide and serve meals at the Guest House in Milwaukee and work on a Habitat for Humanity building crew. Congregation members were encouraged from the pulpit to contact President Obama and urge his administration to take action on homelessness early in his tenure.

 

Unlike some “box city” projects, the Unitarian Universalist Church West Cardboard City is not a fundraiser. However, to show your support, the church invites you to blink your lights as you drive past the church property on the evening of March 21st -- located on North Avenue in Brookfield, between 128th and 131st Streets.

 

Community Watch

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Menomonee Falls baseball virtuoso Ty Weber and Big Ten Media Day Updated:  7/29

» Supporters line up to push Brookfield beekeeping Updated:  7/28

» The Corridor development in Brookfield announces three new tenants Updated:  7/28

» Brookfield Bulldogs, Pewaukee Muskies to continue game at later date 7/26

» Brookfield Blue Sox pick up key win over West Bend 7/26

» Jury reaches guilty verdict in Brookfield drive-by shooting after failed drug deal Updated:  7/26

» Dick's Sporting Goods to open Aug. 5 in Brookfield 7/25

» 2016 Waukesha County Fair coverage 7/22

» Brookfield East choir to perform with Foreigner at Waukesha County Fair 7/22

» Wisconsin Athletic Club nearing town of Brookfield opening Updated:  7/21

» Social media story on the storms rolling through Milwaukee area 7/21

» Resources available to Waukesha County residents during extreme heat 7/21

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Wisconsin Badgers football, WIFCA All-Star game 7/20

» Brookfield Central baseball unable to pull upset in regional loss to Sussex Hamilton 7/19

» Former Brookfield East coach Tom Swittel goes out with WFCA All-Star Game win 7/19

» Brookfield board comfortable with lights 7/19

» Brookfield Portillo's opens its doors 7/19

» #BestSummerEverNOW: Share your 2016 summer photos of you in the Milwaukee suburbs Updated:  7/18

» Live coverage: 2016 WIAA Summer Baseball Sectional Round Updated:  7/18

» Brookfield plan commission advances Wimmer's Linx Club apartment, hotel project Updated:  7/18

» NOW's user submitted stories, photos will be discontinued in early August 7/18

» New Brookfield Central AD Don Kurth to bring wide variety of experience 7/16

» Elmbrook Humane Society teams up with other area shelters to save cats in need 7/13

» Brookfield's Dominic Days returns this week 7/12

» Brookfield East's upset bid falls short in Greater Metro baseball tournament 7/12

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Waukesha County Fair

 

The 2016 Waukesha County Fair saw rain, scorching temps and tropical humidity throughout its five-day run. Check out our stories, photos and video from the fair, including coverage of the new pig, duck and goat races, the 50th annual Fairest of the Fair contest, as well as a ranking of the top food items.

Best Summer Ever

 

We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement