BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — A metro church is hoping to raise money and awareness about homelessness by simulating a homeless camp for an entire weekend.
Members of the First Christian Church of Blue Springs will build a makeshift homeless camp from salvaged materials. They’re collecting donations to be distributed to area agencies that assist people who are homeless or under-housed in KC.
Cliff Caton, Senior Pastor at First Christian Church and Rick Brasfield will be joining dozens to fight homelessness, by going homeless. Church members and anyone who wishes to participate will build a homeless camp on church grounds, and stay there for three days.
It’s called Operation Chillout. Organizers have been doing this for nearly 12 years.
In 2016, the church gave out thousands of toiletries, coats, gloves, blankets and so much more.
“We distribute anywhere from three to eight thousand blankets a year,” Caton tells 41 Action News. “And we always have requests.”
This will be Brasfield’s 7th year participating in Operation Chillout. For him, it’s personal.
"My best friend in high school, the best man in my wedding; at 31 he decided he wanted to change his life. He didn’t like the way his life was going, he moved onto the streets. He was dead at 41," said Brasfield. "My son was living in Texas. Too proud to call home, lost his apartment and lived on the beach, so I take this pretty seriously."
Organizers hope the public takes it just as serious.