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Monday, December 7, 2009

On the Teen Beat

The Fort Collins Coloradan news writer Marcy Miranda reports today on a teenager, Ben Greuel who knows what it's like sleeping in a box. "You get so little sleep," the 14-year-old said. "It's so cold, and it's not very comfortable."

For the past three years, Greuel has been among several teens who spend a night camped out in the freezing cold sleeping in boxes and tents on the front lawn of Plymouth Congregational Church to bring awareness to the growing issue of homelessness.

This past Saturday night, Greuel was among about 40 teens who spent the night braving the cold and darkness along with other members of the church's youth group. Youths from Northern Colorado Jewish Youth, Foothills Unitarian Church, and local Mennonite and Quaker groups also camped out.

The youths collected food and outdoor gear such as hats, gloves and coats to donate to the homeless. They also collected monetary donations, which are donated to the Homelessness Prevention Initiative (HPI), a local nonprofit that provides temporary assistance to people at risk of becoming homeless because of their inability to pay rent. This year, the organization prevented about 3,700 families from becoming homeless.

As an example, Kurt Kaiser, who received assistance from HPI spoke to the teens giving a face to the statistics. The last year of his life has been one of the toughest, he said. His wife left him and his three sons. Two days later, he lost his job as the director of a community college in the state of Washington.

Please take a moment to donate online to Servants of the Father of Mercy, Homeless In America’s Christmas StreetReach for the poor living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $30 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $100. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of Homeless we serve. Alms for the poor filled with charity, kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at -

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