KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Friday is the night to 'Camp Out' on the World's Fair Park Festival Lawn to raise awareness of homelessness in our community.
The event was a huge success and raised $13,000 for Knoxville's homeless population. That money will feed 6,500 people over the next couple of months.
Knox Area Rescue Ministries is hosting the first KARM Camp Out for Homelessness Friday night and Saturday morning.
KARM hopes the event will engage the community to think about the growing homeless population.
Morning is a busy time at Knox Area Rescue Ministries. But waking up here means you're in off the streets. It takes dozens of volunteers and donated dollars to make it happen.
"Everything we do here is through individual, private contributions, either from individuals, churches or local businesses," said Angie Sledge, KARM's vice president of development.
Tonight KARM is asking others to open their eyes and understand homelessness in a new light at their first ever Camp Out. The Camp Out will get cold --- as people pledge cash to sleep outdoors at World's Fair Park.
"Folks will find themselves in an avalanche of bad circumstances that have gotten out of control and they don't know where to turn. They don't know where the starting point is to get their life back on track," said Sledge.
KARM provides nearly 1000 meals a day, and gives a bed to nearly 400 each night. If you've never imagined what it's like to live without food or shelter, they encourage you to sign up. You can make it as rough as you want to. But KARM says only bring what you can carry to spend a night without a roof overhead.
"Bring your lawn chairs, bring a tent if you want to, or bring a cardboard box," said Sledge. "Bring a blanket to spread out on the ground."
This event will feature fun times and food, a far cry from a real night without a home. Sledge hopes campers go home with a new outlook.
"They are very thankful for what they have and realize that those that are blessed have the responsibility to care for those who are not as fortunate," she said.
Camping starts Friday evening at 6 p.m. and ends Saturday at 10 a.m.
The camp out offers food, entertainment and activities to inform people about homelessness.
Camper registration is $25, and everyone is encouraged to raise at least $88, the price of week of meals at KARM.
You can register online on the KARM website by following the link below.