WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Lord’s Place's (TLP) 15th Annual SleepOut event made its return in person on Friday.
Although the weather moved the event indoors, staff with TLP went out providing ponchos and umbrellas to those who didn't have shelter from the storms.
TLP said they've seen the surge in homelessness since the start of the pandemic and events like SleepOut are dedicated to helping break that cycle.
"Being homeless, it is a very tough life because you don't know if you're going to live the next day or not," said Gurbir Aulakh a SleepOut honorary family.
Aulakh, his wife and his two children said it's important to remember how fortunate they are, but also why it's important to give back.
TLP said, in Palm Beach County some 3,000 people experience homelessness every day.
"I believe that everybody should be having at least a home to live and that there's food to be fed, and that's what me and my family try to do whatever we can," said Aulakh.
Traditionally, SleepOut is held outdoors bringing hundreds to sleep in the elements, much like those experiencing homelessness. But because of the weather, SleepOut was moved indoors.
Organizers are asking people to sleep in any place that isn't a bed after the event.
"Maybe sleep on the floor, maybe sleep in the back yard, maybe sleep in the car as a reminder that every night there are hundreds of people that have to sleep like that," said Diana Stanley, the CEO of The Lord's Place.
SleepOut includes singing and personal stories of survival involving TLP that has served 1,747 people just last year.
"The only way we're going to end homelessness in this community is by creating a community of awareness, letting people understand that the men and women and families that we served often times could be ourselves," said Stanley.
Fundraising from this year's sleepout will raise $700,000 dollars to help break the homelessness cycle.
"Now, more than ever, The Lord's Place is gonna be boots on the ground," said Stanley. "We're going to be out on the streets just like we've always been. We're opening up new housing and we're going to be doing new job training to make sure that people can restore their lives," said Stanley.