There was definitely a chill in the air last Friday night when participants in Leadership Niagara’s Homeless for a Night project slept in cardboard boxes at an outdoor market to help raise awareness about homelessness and poverty.”
Among those on hand for the event were Mayor Paul Dyster of Niagara Falls; Robyn Krueger, executive director of Community Mission, and the Rev. James J. Maher, president of Niagara University. Also taking part in the homeless project were Niagara Falls Police Supt. Bryan DalPorto and Niagara Falls attorney and State Senate candidate Johnny Destino.
DalPorto brought in a patrol car to shine a spotlight on a podium set up for the speakers at the Park Place Market on Main St., and Destino helped put together the cardboard boxes which were the sleeping quarters on the very cool night for the participants.
The stated goals for the event were to have the several dozen participants on hand leave with an increased awareness and understanding of homelessness and poverty and encourage the participants to take action on the challenges faced by the poor and homeless following the event. About $2,500 was raised by the event to help local agencies working on the front lines to deal with poverty-related issues.
Many of those on hand took part in discussion groups focusing on the impact of poverty and ways the public and local officials can help to address the issues posed by poverty and homelessness in the community.