MOSES LAKE — It almost seemed too fitting that on the day of the fourth annual Sleep on the Street event on Thursday Columbia Basin skies were painted gray and a steady flow of rain was the going trend. Perhaps that is what events like Sleep on the Street are all about. Organizers could have easily axed the event, which aims to raise awareness about homelessness and raise funds for the Warming Center, due to less-than-ideal weather conditions.
Homeless people don’t have that option; however. If it rains they don’t have the ability to retreat to a dry place.
“I actually came down here to see if they were still going to be out here with the rain,” Moses Lake resident Sara Wilson said. “Thinking about it now though I realize that the whole point of Sleep on the Street would be missed if they didn’t hold it because of the rain and stuff."
Sleep on the Street, now in its fourth year, sees volunteers raise awareness of homelessness and raise funds by sleeping in a cardboard box for the night in the Penhallurick’s True Value parking lot.
This year’s participants included Moses Lake Police Department Chief Kevin Fuhr, Windermere Real Estate broker Kandi Bersanti, Grant County Assessor candidate Scott Schmig, Moses Lake City Council member Don Myers, Windermere Real Estate owner/broker Barry Lawson, Moses Lake Fire Department medical services officer Todd Schanze, volunteer Deanna Martinez and business owner Troy White.
Throughout the evening community members came out not only to donate to the cause, but to volunteer. From donations of hot food to holding signs on the side of Stratford Road, the event brings community members together for a singular cause.
“I came out here tonight actually to just go shopping for groceries originally,” Mark Stafford remarked with a laugh. “But when I saw what was going on and read the signs out on the road I felt like I needed to do something, which is why I called my wife and asked her if there was anything we can do. We are planning on donating in the future now and want to get involved with volunteering at the Warming Center.”
The Warming Center is scheduled to be open for four months and will start serving the local homeless population on Dec. 1 in the old Ace Hardware annex building at 938 W. Broadway Ave.