5K walk puts volunteers in the shoes of a homeless person

By Ryne Turke on November 13, 2015 at 12:07pm

New Directions and Illinois College are teaming up this weekend to raise funds for Homeless Awareness Month.

New Directions Director Vanessa Tyus says volunteers will participate in A Walk Through Homelessness, an experience that simulates the life of a homeless person during the winter weather.

“Things happen during our every day life. We are fortunate for what we have and sometimes we take that for granted. We are asking the people that want to participate to show up in their pajamas or swimsuit. We know it will be cold, but we want them to bring a backpack of clothes. The first stop they can put on a pair of pants, the second stop they can add a shirt and by the time they get back to New Directions they will be fully dressed.”

Tyus notes providing enough clothing for the homeless in Jacksonville is a serious issue.

“We get quite a few people asking if we have socks, gloves, scarves, coats and extra clothes we can spare. Most of the time we do have those items.”

Tyus says students from Routt and Triopia High Schools will also be in attendance for the walk.

There is no registration fee, but New Directions will be accepting free will offerings.

The 5K walk starts at 10 a.m. outside of New Directions.