CHAMPAIGN — Local officials and others will sleep outside in cardboard boxes in downtown Champaign on the night of Feb. 3 to help raise awareness of homelessness and money for C-U at Home.
Participants will be outside in boxes along Neil Street, from One Main Plaza to the City Building, between 5 and 9 p.m.
Then each public figure will remain longer, depending on how much money is raised in their honor, according to C-U at Home.
Every $100 raised per participant equals another hour outside in the box, with the goal being $1,000 per participant so each lasts the night until 7 a.m. Feb. 4.
Funds raised will help the organization give shelter and support to homeless people most at risk of dying on the streets, according to C-U at Home.
Participants include Champaign Mayor Don Gerard, Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde, several local pastors and others, the organization says.
Pryde said the health district deals with the homeless population, and she figured she could get through one night outside with food in her stomach, friends and family supporting her and knowing she had a warm home waiting for her when the night outside ends.
"It's very difficult for me to comprehend, even when I walk from my building to my car and from my car to my house, somebody having to be out in this," she said.
Donations can be given in advance or at the event. For more information, including a list of participants, see the website at http://www.cuathome.us .