Jericho Way Fundraises Overnight to Help Homeless

Dozens of people in Central Arkansas are taking a stand against homelessness, by going to sleep. 
"This is in solidarity with those that have to sleep outside. We don't have to sleep outside, the majority of us," Mandy Davis, the Director of Jericho Way said. 
This Saturday night fundraiser for Jericho Way in Little Rock isn't about helping homelessness from a far, but meeting needs in a unique way.
"While you're not homeless tonight, you do get a taste of what it might be like not to have a bed," Chuch Levesque, the President of DePaul USA, the parent organization of Jericho Way said. 
Instead of these donors being "wined and dined" it's cold cokes, a cook out and a night under the stars in Murray Park. 
"It's the least I could do. One night outside, that's fine," Davis said.  
Davis admits she doesn't own camping gear and is afraid of some wildlife.
 "I'll sleep on a table. I'm terrified of snakes," she said with a chuckle. 
A fear she's willing to overcome to help the estimated 800 homeless people in Little Rock. 
"These are some of the most vulnerable individuals that we're serving," Davis said.  
Fortunately statistics are on their side. 
According to the most recent homeless assessment in Arkansas, homelessness declined nearly 4 percent since 2015 and almost 11 percent since 2010. 
"There's no greater love than to serve people and to help people. Put a smile on their faces. Got to do it," Jericho Way volunteer, Jesse Gatewood said. 
Jericho Way isn't just pitching in by providing showers, laundry or more than 10,000 meals last quarter, but a way out of a vicious cycle.
Over the next year DePaul USA, the parent organization of Jericho Way, says they plan to build affordable housing. 
"Hopefully this time next year we'll be celebrating the fact that the housing is being built," Levesque said.  
So one night under the stars, may soon mean a roof over someone else's head. 
To learn more about Jericho Way and DePaul USA, click here

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