Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)


C-U at Home’s annual community awareness and fundraising event combines familiar activities with fresh experiences this year. One Winter Night 2023 will take place Friday, February 3 at The Venue CU in downtown Champaign, on the University of Illinois campus, and remotely at area churches.

The Venue CU at 51 E. Main in Champaign will serve as the primary community location where people can participate in the homeless simulation/fundraising experience by staying outside from 6 pm to midnight in tents, makeshift shelters, or cars. There will also be a program inside from 7-9 pm for both simulation participants and anyone in the community who is interested in just attending the program.

The program for the evening will include a presentation by C-U at Home leadership about the mission and vision of our “Pathways to Progress” shelter programs, along with a video testimonial featuring clients we serve. We will also host an inspiring evening with a remarkable speaker, George Dennehy (view his story at

“We have been considering changes to the event for some time to make it a better representation of our current service model,” said C-U at Home executive director Melissa Courtwright. “We began year-round emergency sheltering in late 2019, helping ensure that no one in need is left out on the streets. We’ve expanded case management services, and our ‘Pathways to Progress’ shelter programs are now fully operational. While we continue to serve the homeless population, our focus now goes beyond 24/7 shelter to helping each person we work with to take the needed steps toward stability and success.”

One Winter Night 2023 will focus on helping the community understand the C-U at Home’s current service model while serving as a “kick-off” to a new year of community engagement and fundraising. Anyone wishing to participate in the outdoor simulation experience as a fundraiser can register at Attendance at the evening program is open to the public.

C-U at Home is a non-profit ministry based in Champaign, Ill. Founded in 2011, we exist to support and empower individuals who are experiencing homelessness by providing a safe environment where they can progress toward stability, access resources, and receive other essential supportive services. For more information, visit