BOYCEVILLE -— On Saturday night, October 4th, 31 youth and adults from Trinity Lutheran Church of Boyceville and Holy Cross Lutheran Church of Glenwood City attended a Homeless Simulation at Trinity Lutheran Church. A Homeless Simulation is an event designed to mimic, for one night, conditions that the homeless have to deal with every night in order to raise awareness and compassion for the homeless. Participants were allowed to wear sweatshirts and sweatpants, bring a coat, hat, and gloves, and a small blanket.
After a quick orientation, the participants began to build shelters for the night using cardboard, tape, newspaper, or whatever else they could find. They were encouraged to work together in the building of the shelters as well as to personalize their shelters and they could continue to refine their shelters throughout the evening.
During the simulation, those involved heard talks from Shiloh Herrem from West CAP and Captain Kevin Bygd from the Dunn County Sherriff’s department talking about homelessness in our area. We often don’t see the homeless in Boyceville or Glenwood City as they are often sleeping in the car, the woods, or bouncing from couch to couch. However, they are out there and need to be cared for.
At the event, each participant was given a profile of a homeless person to show the variety of individuals and families that are homeless. They participated in a “soup kitchen” and experienced the inequality of resources as some participants got extra food, an extra blanket, or a pillow. They participated in a Bible study about poverty and our call as Christians to help those in need. Throughout the night, they gathered around the fire pit or fire barrel as temperatures reached 34 degrees.
In the morning, they had a very small breakfast and made signs as they solicited for funds to help the needy. They both attended their respective worship services where they worshipped as the homeless.
This event was begun by Trinity Lutheran Church last year and next year will be held at Holy Cross Lutheran Church.