Dec. 3rd – Dec. 4th
Over 30 years ago… tragedy struck our community with the death of a young homeless man and another who lost his foot to frostbite during the winter of 1983-1984 because no shelter services operated in Pocatello at that time. Through a grassroots response by this community, Aid For Friends emerged to offer safe lodging to those in need.
Following a tradition that began with the faith communities and concerned citizens, the 9th Annual Caldwell Park Encampment Project is being planned in support of homeless awareness and the services that Aid for Friends provides to our community. This special event is held at Caldwell Park in Pocatello and begins at 9:00 am on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 and ends at 9:00 am on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2015.
The previous Encampment events have proven to be successful both as fundraisers and as awareness raisers, and have resulted in greater community support. Participants raise money by soliciting tax-deductible pledges from individuals and businesses. Spending the night in a cardboard box impacts participants by increasing their understanding of what the homeless often endure, both physically and emotionally, especially in the harsh winter cold.
Continuing in the spirit of that response, families and individuals from concerned faith communities, civic groups and local organizations will be asked to build shelters out of cardboard, newspapers and tarps similar to those the homeless would build and to lodge in their makeshift dwellings overnight. They will, in effect, construct an “emergency camp” much like what is found under bridges in communities that do not have an agency like Aid For Friends to provide safe haven.
There will be a food drive for “Camp Food” such as cans of chili, tuna, ham and soup sponsored by the Modern Woodmen of America.
- All Participants will be trained on winter weather survival, proper clothing and equipment, health safety and emergency preparedness. Attendance is expected for all participants.
- Training will be taught during lunch on Saturday, and later in the afternoon.
- Boy Scout Troop 315 will serve a “Soup Kitchen” dinner and a local restaurant will be hosting a hot breakfast.
- A zero-impact fire in a 55-gallon drum as a heat source will keep participants warm.
- Afternoon and evening musical entertainment will be at the First Presbyterian Church.
- Coffee, hot chocolate and cookies will be served on site. All safety precautions will be adhered to, with on-site fire extinguishers; portable toilets.
- American Legion Riders’ will provide security personnel throughout the night.
If you are interested in participating, please call Aid For Friends at 232-0178 or register at http://aidforfriendspocatello.com/homeless-encampment-registration/. Check out our Participant Information Sheet for more details. To donate, send check to Aid For Friends, P. O. Box 4233, Pocatello, ID 83205 – Add “Encampment” to Memo line.