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"How anyone could sleep on the ground cold and wet, and still get up in the morning and go to work or look for work, I don't understand how."
"It rained last night and soaked through lots of boxes. On rainy nights homeless people have to sleep like all night." (Age 10)
"It (homelessness) was something no one should experience for a long or short time. It started to rain, I just laid there shivering, think how many people have to do this everyday. Wow." (Age 11)
"People can become homeless in a matter of days, so we need to give thanks for what we have and not ask for things we don't need." (Age 13)
"I can't imagine having to get my kids to school and go to work after one night like that - let alone every day."
"The homeless have to do this everyday, starve for food, begging for coins. I will do this next year if I can and my goal is to raise 8 housing nights ($200)" (Age 8)
"This year I learned about the personal struggle to function on a day-to-day basis without the assurance of a roof over my head and a home to rest. This was profound to me. How it must wear on the body and soul."
"Watching the movie, "30 Days: Living on Minimum Wage" brought home how far that money does NOT go."
"I've attended all the Sleep Outs at St. Thomas and this year was the most powerful evening filled with prayer, sharing, reflection time and dignity for the homeless. Listening to the youth gave me hope. I was overwhelmed with their words and inspired by their leadership and understanding of what it's like to become homeless."
"I had a difficult time sleeping. I was cold and I was afraid my kids were cold. When I did sleep, I dreamed of homeless children. As I heard stories, I became fearful that it could happen to me, or anyone I know."
"I didn't just learn about being homeless, I experienced it. So that will make me do something about it." (Age 12)
"I am actually glad it rained, because that way you can see how harsh the weather could be for the homeless. I got about 1 or 2 hours of sleep. Imagine if you had to do this every night. You would be so tired when you go to school. (Age 11)
"It gets cold and lonely outside. I am thankful for a warm home and a bed."
"Even though my life gets busy, and I feel like I have so much stress, other people would be glad to have my silly problems. Their needs are real and I need to take time to help them."
The Illinois Basic Economic Security Tables show that, for a family of 3 (adult, preschooler, school-age child) at least $72,420 is the needed annual salary in order to be economically secure in Illinois.
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