The first major homelessness awareness event will be taking place in Lawton from April 5 to April 6 when Family Promise of Lawton, Inc. (FPOL) hosts the First Annual Box City.
According to FPOL Executive Director Edwina Reddick, as a 501c3 nonprofit organization and an affiliate of the National Family Promise organization, the mission of FPOL is to assist homeless children and their families to achieve and sustain economic and lasting self-sufficiency.
“To qualify for the homeless program, the families must include children and we work with those families in order to get them back on their feet again,” she said.
Reddick said she wants to encourage community participation because she feels it will cause people to volunteer with agencies that are working with the homeless population.
“Participation is so vital right now — especially as a family, because what the Box City is going to do is raise the awareness of the situation that we have in the community,” she said. “It will give a family an opportunity to experience a very small part of what a homeless person goes through in a night when they have to find shelter — especially when all of the shelters are full because that is when it is needed the most.”
Participants will decorate a box or boxes and claim a spot in Box City where they along with as many as they can fit in their box will spend the night using their box for shelter.
Participants will learn about Lawton’s homeless population, enjoy great music from local talents and help raise money for homeless families in need of a hand up.
The Salvation Army will provide a soup line and drinks at the event.
No outside food or drinks will be permitted inside the event.
No guns, knives or weapons of any kind will be permitted inside of Box City.
Reddick said the two-day event would take place from 2 p.m. on Friday until 10 a.m. on Saturday at the corner of Southwest 38th Street and West Gore Boulevard.
According to Reddick, participants will pay $25 to register; those who register before 4 p.m. on April 1 will receive a free t-shirt.
Anyone wanting more information or wanting to register may call Edwina Reddick at 580.699.2821 or Linda Mask at 580.695.8882 or by sending e-mail to director@ familypromiseof lawton.org.
More information is also available at www. familypromiseof lawton.org.