South Georgians experience homelessness first hand - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgians experience homelessness first hand

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

January 30, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Millions of Americans will experience homelessness this year, including many children.

On Friday night more than a hundred men, women, and children will brave the freezing temperatures in Albany to see what it's like to be homeless.

Todd and LaDonna Urick wanted kick start their new mission and help spread awareness of the growing problem of homelessness and hunger.

They planned the sleep out at the Albany Mall to get it started.

"A lot of people around here don't understand the need and the social injustice that is here in Albany." said Todd Urick.

They came with cardboard boxes and lots of covers.

"To sit out here one night in the huge scheme of things is not a huge deal," said Matt Matthews, Albany.

Matthews and others like him will sleep in the cold, with little more than a cardboard box as shelter.

Mandy Waters and her friend brought their children out.

"We are so blessed, our whole nation is. I want my children to know what we have is not necessarily deserved," said Mandy Waters.

They say it'll offer a great life lesson.

Something 11-year-old Bishop Waters already knows, he raised $53 to donate.

"I just figure it's right to help the homeless," said Bishop Waters.

Organizers hope sleep over participants will share this experience with others.

As they sleep out for one cold night they're reminded that many experience this 365 days a year.

"I'll take cold over rain, it's perfect because it drives the point home even more," said Todd Urick.

Proceeds from tonight will benefit the food bank of southwest Georgia, Flint River Habitat for Humanity, and the Albany rescue mission.

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