Friday night I drove by Plymouth Congregational Church on Franklin and Nicollet Avenues. The parking lot was filled with spectators, a lit stage was on one side with a couple of people addressing the crowd. A Fox 9 new van was parked in the corner of the lot with its satellite extended. A stage was setup with lights and a loud speaker touted thanks to corporate sponsor Wells Fargo, etc. (which was all I heard as I drove by).

Later that evening, on my way home, the same lot was dark, but a few people were milling about amidst hundreds of boxes… BIG BOXES – like the kind your refrigerator comes packaged in. My friend Mark said, “I think those people are sleeping in boxes.” No, I thought… a church parking lot full of boxes? That’s got to be the most bizaare thing I’ve ever heard of.

An internet search proved me wrong. The event truly did involve people sleeping in boxes in order to raise money for homeless people in MN. An honorable cause. The Plymouth Congregational Church is a wonderful light in the community – this is actually the 3rd year they’ve done this. Read the full story at Fox 9’s website, or reprinted here for archiving.

Helping the Homeless: ‘A Night on the Street’

Hundreds of people are spending the night outside in Minneapolis, to bring awareness to the homeless.

In all, 350 kids from 34 congregations throughout the Twin Cities will take part in “A Night on the Street.” It’s the third year for the event.

The kids will sleep in cardboard boxes outside at Plymouth Congregational Church, in an effort to bring attention to the 8,000 people without a home on any given night in Minnesota.

The purpose behind the event is that kids have raised money – not for services for the homeless – but for more affordable places to live.

Harold Nash, who used to be homeless, is now housed in Lydia Apartments, where people pay 30% of their income as rent. That’s across the street from the church where tonight’s event will be held.

“A Night on the Street” event is the end of a fundraiser, bringing in about $30,000 to create more affordable housing for the homeless.