On Friday, March 24th, Waypoint NH held its annual SleepOut event, a challenge to bring the issue of homelessness amongst youth closer to home in New Hampshire.
The SleepOut event encourages participants to spend a night out in the cold in solidarity with youth enduring homelessness in the region. Many participants spent the night outside Spaulding High School and the Waypoint facility on Wallace Street.
According to the Rochester Police Department’s Juvenile Division Coordinator Nicole Rodler, supporters on Wallace Street slept on cardboard under an open-air canopy.
“It was freezing — but a good opportunity to discuss the many issues for people experiencing homelessness,” said Rodler. “Many well-meaning people are not fully aware of the countless folks facing homelessness and other challenges.”
Rodler reports that participants raised money to support Waypoint NH, adding that Spaulding High School students raised over $3k in donations alone.
“It’s important to understand how it feels to be out in the cold and it’s a situation we hope no one has to experience on their own,” said Rodler. “The event is all about bringing awareness to the situation, and with the support of the greater community, it’s our hope that our young people can avoid facing homelessness next year.”
Waypoint NH is located at 3 Wallace Street, Rochester, NH 03866. Visit waypointnh.org or call 1 (800) 640-6486.