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Box City event to fundraise for family shelter

Participants will sleep overnight in Valencia park later this month

Posted: September 17, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 17, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

Sheltered by cardboard boxes and the stars, Santa Clarita Valley residents will sleep overnight at Bridgeport Park in Valencia later this month to raise funds for the homeless and to make people more aware of the local homeless community.

Santa Clarita Valley youth groups and community members will build Box City for the third annual Family Promise of Santa Clarita event with bands, speakers and a candlelight ceremony.

The event has raised $20,000 to $30,000 in past years; all donations fund Family Promise programs, food, staff and supplies for the Santa Clarita Valley homeless, said Gary Choppe, the event chairman.

“It’s really Family Promise’s largest fundraiser. Everything goes back into the program,” Choppe said. “It stays in the valley.”

Each participant pledges $100, and Family Promise hopes to see more than 300 participants, said Chris Najarro of Family Promise.

“We are the only family shelter program in Santa Clarita, and we would like to see a lot of people get involved for that purpose,” Najarro said.

Family Promise places about 20 families per year in long-term transitional housing, Najarro said. Box City funds can help the center assist more than those 20 families, she added.

Family Promise provides programs, shelter, food, transportation to work or school, career counseling and financial advising for three or four homeless families at one time 365 days a year.

“We work with them to get them back on their feet,” Choppe said.

Family Promise of Santa Clarita is part of the national nonprofit organization and functions with the help of the Interfaith Hospitality Network.

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