As the temperature dips below freezing tonight, activists and business leaders will sleep outside in Manchester’s Stanton Park to raise money and awareness for youth homelessness.
The timing is no coincidence. Manchester’s daytime homeless shelter recently slashed its hours due to lack of funding. The city is also considering a panhandling ban.
Cathy Schmidt, CEO of McLane Law Firm, says her headlamp and sleeping bag are packed.
"What we’re doing tonight - in no way - is the experience these homeless youth have," says Schmidt. "But it will at least...shed some light on this problem that we have in our state."
The event is organized by Child and Family Services, which says it has raised $127,243. The non-profit, which serves 1,500 homeless youth statewide each year, says every night in Manchester 300 youth do not know where they will sleep.