CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Like most parents, Scott Stevens wants his kids to have compassion for others.
“Develop compassion for other people who are in our community that we don’t see on a day-to-day basis,” Stevens said.
It’s why his family has been a part of C-U at Home’s One Winter Night for the past six years.
“Whenever you turn 10 then that’s the year you’re going to do it,” Seth Stevens said.
It’s a homeless simulation. It gives people who have a home a chance to experience the harsh realities of what it’s like to live without one.
“Especially for my kids, to be able to know that there are people out there who don’t have something as basic as a home or food to eat open up their eyes,” Stevens said.
Maggie Baker is volunteering for the first time.
“I want to help folks out there that don’t have a permanent home or a place to call home,” Baker said. She says it’s been eye-opening, which is what C-U at Home’s Executive Director, Melissa Courtwright says is the point, an educational experience.
“It’s a reminder for people if we didn’t have shelters in the community that we have people would be out on the streets on this very, very cold night,” Courtwright said.
People without a home oftentimes bare the cold through the night, but this year, C-U at Home has made some changes to the event. They are closing things up at midnight.
“There’s a lot of questions, why would you do that, have you thought about how cold it is and so they take their participation and they’re actually spreading it out to people they know and saying this is why I would do this,” Courtwright said.
Courtwright says safety is C-U at Homes’ number one priority.