Where Will We All Sleep Tonight?

Where Will We All Sleep Tonight?

by Dawn Sprayman

As night comes earlier and the temperature drops, more and more families right here in Denton County are finding themselves without a safe place to sleep at night….tonight. What can they do?

What would you do if you didn’t have a safe, warm place for you and your children to
sleep tonight?

Fortunately, BedTime Rescue is answering the call to provide temporary, emergency housing for families in crisis. When a family calls, they are placed in a hotel for anywhere from one night to a week. This is usually all that it takes to give the family respite from their current situation and the opportunity to make a plan.

BedTime Rescue is a 501 (c)(3) organization that was formed under the umbrella of Cloud 9 Charities in December of 2012. Cloud 9 Charities founder Kim Cloud saw a 60 Minutes television program describing the number of homeless children in our nation
that attend school and need assistance. She began researching and soon discovered that there are hundreds of homeless children registered in the Lewisville Independent
School District alone.

“There are several great organizations that provide shelter for the homeless in Denton County, but these shelters typically provide housing for long term homeless individuals,” said Cloud. “Most of our BedTime Rescue families do not identify with this… their situation is temporary.”

The other important reason BedTime Rescue families do not want to utilize shelters is that most of these shelters separate families. They are either just for women and children or just for men.

Most families find their way to BedTime Rescue through the school system and the organization most tightly connected to schools, Communities in Schools of North Texas (CISNT). When a child reports to a school official that they have nowhere to stay, CISNT steps in and makes the call to BedTime Rescue.

“These families need to know that they will be safe and they will be taken care of,” said Ann Pape, Chief Executive Officer for CISNT. “We know that BedTime Rescue is going to be there for these families and we assure our clients of this.”

The situations differ with each family. Often the families live paycheck to paycheck and something has happened to cause them to lose one paycheck and /or lose their housing. In this case, they just need a week to get back on their feet. Without that week, their situation can grow increasingly worse until they are more permanently on the streets.

Ann Pape tells the story of one family who had a bid on a mobile home and thought they had it, but they were outbid. They had nowhere to go for a couple days. By giving them a week to catch their breath in a safe place, their children remained in school, they were able to collect another paycheck, and make another bid on a different mobile home.

“For just the cost of one week’s hotel their whole life was changed,” said Paps. “That is what BedTime Rescue can do.”

In some cases, domestic abuse reaches an intolerable level and with a moment’s notice a mother and her children need an immediate place to stay for a night or two. BedTime Rescue will provide them with a safe place to stay until more permanent arrangements
may be made.

As of January 2016, the BedTime Rescue program has housed Denton County families for over 400 nights and raised over $18,000 from grants and private donations.

“We feel there is far more need in the county”, said Cloud. “Until recently, BedTime Rescue awareness hasn’t been there.”

That is currently changing. In the last few weeks, BedTime Rescue has seen an increase in calls every week. So much so, that there is now a great need for funding.
This is where the community can help. It only takes $240 to not only house a family for a week, but truly change the direction of their lives. Kim Cloud makes this appeal, along with Ann Pape, and many others who work every day to rid our community of homelessness and barriers to healthy, happy living.

“BedTime Rescue serves a critical need in our community and is an excellent collaborative partner with our frontline agencies such as CISNT and local school districts,” said State Representative Tan Parker, who has successfully passed legislation related to homelessness. “I cannot think of a more fulfilling way for people to serve our community than to assist a family in crisis by providing emergency housing.”

To make an immediate donation go to www.cloud9charities.org. Cloud 9 Charities is a 501(c-3) organization that raises money for local non-profits who require additional funding to serve the needs of local families. By producing large community events Cloud 9 has raised over 2.3 million dollars for these charities since 2004. To find out more about Cloud 9 Charities call 214.415.4806 or go to www.cloud9charities.org.

BedTime Rescue is a 501(c-3) organization that provides temporary housing for families in crisis situations. By giving them a hotel to stay in short term, BedTime Rescue allows families time to figure out their next move toward getting on their feet. To find out more about BedTime Rescue or to report a family in need call 214-415-4806 or go to www.cloud9charities.org/bedtimerescue.

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