Shelter gives public taste of homelessness

Event helps fund Bridge operations

What would it be like to lose everything and need to rely solely on the kindness and donations of others?

The Bridge Emergency Shelter is hosting an event to give the public the chance to understand what other people might endure when circumstances force them to live at a shelter, said Saskia Mollet, an Americorps volunteer with the bridge.

The idea for the event came from participates in the awareness walk the shelter held last year.

“We have had quite a bit of interest,” Mollet said.

Members of the community are invited to spend the night in the shelter and a day living as though they have no income as a fundraiser for the shelter on April 25 and 26.

It will be held after the shelter closes for the summer season on April 15, so it will be open specifically for event participants.

The Bridge staff hopes people will push themselves to spend 27 hours as if they were homeless and find a public space to spend the day and not cave to the temptation of spending money to on entertainment like the movies to pass the time.

The staff is reaching out the police, sheriff’s deputies, workers from the Piñon Project, the Recovery Center and other groups to give them the opportunity to understand the plight of the people they help, Mollet said.

The event is also open to interested members of the public older than 18.

The shelter is working with Southwest Open School and other groups in town to host an event for young people over the summer.

Registration is a dollar for every hour spent at the event and will help fund Bridge operations.

The shelter is capping participation at 30 people, and the deadline to register is April 15.

To register or for more information, call the shelter at (970) 565-9808.