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Family Promise Night Without a Bed takes place Saturday to raise awareness, funds
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Family Promise Night Without a Bed takes place Saturday to raise awareness, funds

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Night Without a Bed 2020

Emmanuel Lutheran Church Pastor Dave Martin tests out the makeshift bed he made with three sleeping bags and a quilt in the back of his car for Family Promise's Night Without a Bed event in June 2020. 

Family Promise of Cowlitz County is challenging people to spend Saturday sleeping anywhere but their bed to help bring awareness for families experiencing homelessness.

The nonprofit’s second-annual Night Without a Bed Saturday also is tied to a fundraiser to help with operating costs for the Family Promise, which hosts homeless families in local churches while helping them find permanent housing.

'A taste of homelessness': Local volunteers spend a 'Night without a Bed'

People can donate money or become a fundraiser and ask others to support them by spending a night without a bed, said Executive Director Lisa Staudinger. Participants can sleep anywhere that’s not their bed, such as on a couch, the floor, their car or in their yard. 

Staudinger said the event is a way to make people more aware of Cowlitz County’s housing shortage, families experiencing homelessness and the solutions available.

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“This is a serious crisis. It’s happening everywhere, but we’ve had a long history,” she said.

Cowlitz County had the highest eviction rate in the state from 2004 to 2017, according to a study by the University of Washington and the University of California Berkeley.

Family Promise adapting to house homeless families amid pandemic

Night Without a Bed also is a major fundraiser for the nonprofit, Staudinger said. Family Promise hasn’t been able to hold in-person events because of the pandemic and is relying on Saturday’s event, along with Give More 24!, to generate funds to operate, she said.

The Family Promise board will match up to $5,000 in donations. People can get more information or donate at nightwithoutabed.org, clicking “View Participating Affiliates,” and searching for Family Promise of Cowlitz County to contribute to the local nonprofit.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to remove the in-person locations previously offered. Family Promise canceled the in-person part of the event because of high temperatures forecast for the weekend but the Night Without a Bed fundraiser is still set for Saturday. 

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