Youth learns lessons in homelessness at 7th Annual Cardboard City

Youth learns lessons in homelessness at 7th Annual Cardboard City
St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church youth group members, front: Nolan Pudimat, Tahiana Rakotomandrinidra, and Naomi Heneghan; back: Jody Harkrider, Becca Jorn, youth leader Bridget Pudimat, Miora Rambeloarisoa, Ian Heneghan and Sarah Jorn. St. Mark’s, in San Marco, is a participating Family Promise church. The youth group has participated every year in Cardboard City. This year, the youth presented a series of talks to church members about homelessness and raised a total of $665.
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church members, Olivia Lapinski and Abigail Lapinski on Lynette Weber’s lap, and (back) Jody Harkrider and Mark Weber have participated all seven years. While they weren’t building a house this year, they planned to participating in all of the event’s other activities.

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church members, Olivia Lapinski and Abigail Lapinski on Lynette Weber’s lap, and (back) Jody Harkrider and Mark Weber have participated all seven years. While they weren’t building a house this year, they planned to participating in all of the event’s other activities.

For seven years, faith youth groups, families and individuals have gathered to create Cardboard City, held on Nov. 17 this year at CrossRoad United Methodist Church, Southside. The event raised more than $25,000 to benefit Family Promise of Jacksonville, which helps return homeless families to self-sufficiency.

The agency reports that every Duval County public school has at least one homeless student, many with more than one. Lynn Doiron, a kindergarten teacher at Merrill Road Elementary School, has firsthand experience with that statistic.

“I was surprised and sad to discover that one of the children I taught in my school of mostly middle-class families was being helped by Family Promise,” she said. Doiron set up her cardboard box by herself and raises money to support the agency.

In the Social Service Maze, people were given a “your family” scenario and then attempted to navigate a series of stations (social service agencies) to get resources their family needed (shelter, food, a job and more). The first-time program was developed with Florida State Collage at Jacksonville’s Honors program through the Center of Civic Engagement. Students, who manned stations, learned about the challenges faced by the homeless and the agencies that try to help them.

Seventeen local congregations and 800 volunteers help Family Promise by providing homeless families with meals and a place to sleep.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Loading...

You must be logged in to post a comment Login