I often shake my head at the attempts some folks make to bring awareness to the plight of the homeless here in New Jersey.

So it’s with a bit of healthy skepticism that I learned about the many residents in Hunterdon County that gathered at a lawn at Hunterdon Central High School for a fundraiser to both raise awareness of the plight of the homeless; and, perhaps, to help ease them into affordable housing.

According to this report:
County residents swarmed here Saturday night to sleep in cardboard boxes, taking over a lawn at Hunterdon Central High School.

They were gone the next morning, satisfying their goal of raising money for, and drawing awareness to, the plight of the homeless.

The second annual "Box City" was a fundraiser for Family Promise of Hunterdon County, which incorporates Interfaith Hospitality Network. The nonprofit is the only one in Hunterdon providing shelter for homeless families.

It also offers local families help in finding "adequate, affordable housing" and to overcome obstacles such as security deposits and landlord disputes and with credit repair and moving costs.

"Citizens" of Box City are asked to raise at least $25, and preferably $100 or more, for Family Promise. Local businesses agree to hold large appliance boxes for participants. Box City opened at 6 p.m. on June 2 and closed the following morning at 8 a.m.

Participants included families, members of sports team and youth groups.

“While most homeless families and individuals in our county do not necessarily sleep in boxes, they do very often end up in crowded, unsafe and extremely uncomfortable situations," said Family Promise Executive Director Geleen Donovan.

Those raising funds had it easier, enjoying food, games and entertainment, including an outdoor movie. But none of that made the ground, or the boxes, any softer.

Kudos for their effort.

However, sleeping in boxes outside for one night is probably a good salve to ease the conscience of the many who sleep under the security of a warm blanket each night.

Their efforts would probably have been better served by spending time at the aforementioned shelters and seeing what it’s like to live under those conditions.
Probably even making every attempt to understand just what the underlying causes of homelessness are.

Instead of raising funds while “enjoying food, games, and watching movies.”

Talk about rubbing salt in the wound!

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