The Box City fundraiser, organized by Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley, was held Saturday at Heritage Park in Valencia to raise awareness of homelessness in the community.
The event was alse intended to raise money for the nonprofit organization which supports homeless families in the Santa Clarita Valley.
“There are two objectives behind Box City,” said board President Laurie Ender “One is to raise awareness for homeless children and families. And the other is to raise money for Family Promise.”
Box City raised more than $60,000 this year which will go directly to help homeless children and families in the Santa Clarita Valley.
“We provide shelter, food and support for homeless families 365 days a year,” said Ender. “We want to keep them safe, healthy and protected, and help them make a change in their lives.”
Box City is an opportunity for Santa Clarita residents to get an idea of what homeless children and families go through on a daily basis.
“It’s supposed to replicate what it’s like to have no place to sleep,” said Ender.
Family Promise estimates there are over 500 homeless families in the Santa Clarita Valley but admits it is extremely challenging to tally those numbers because many simply live in their cars or on the street, Ender said.
“Our ultimate goal is to get families out of homelessness and into a self sustaining place in life,” Ender said. “If the parents don’t have jobs, we help them write resumes and help with financial planning. We also make sure the families have clean clothes, the kids have school supplies, whatever they need.”
Participants of Box City constructed a box “home” in a controlled and safe setting at Heritage Park to sleep in for the night and pledged to raise $100.
“We had about 350 participants. Some of the boxes were for individuals while some children got creative and constructed entire condos,” Ender said.
The event also featured bands playing music, various activities and entertainment geared toward families, as well as free food for the participants.