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ALL BUNDLED UP - Chloe (left), Blaine (center) and Micah (right) Troyer are seen participating in the 2017 Night in a Car event. This year's installment will take place Nov. 9 at the Grace Church of the Nazarene.

EUREKA - “Mommy, I’m cold,” said a four-year-old softly as he snuggled his head deeper into his mother’s lap. 

She tugged his stocking cap closer around his head while cocooning him tighter in his favorite Puppy Dog Pals blanket, then pulled his body closer to her own in the front seat of her car.

“It’s all right, Sweetheart,” she cooed back, as she tried to reassure him. “It will be morning soon, and it’ll be warmer.”

Few residents who live in Woodford County among families with deep connections can relate to the woman in this fictional story. They can believe such situations exist and they can feel empathy for those who have to endure those situations, but to really understand what it’s like to be homeless and alone, you have to experience it.

“This is what homelessness looks like in Woodford County,” commented Heart House/Heartline Director Brandi Gerber. “It’s not people sitting on street corners or sleeping under bridges, it’s them living in their cars.”

Heartline is offering a poverty simulation challenge in which residents can participate on Nov. 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Grace Church of the Nazarene. The Peoria-based Dream Center will give people scenarios that place them in some of the situations those who live in poverty face on a daily basis. It will be up to the participants to figure out how they would respond if the situation were real. The goal is to raise awareness about poverty and the challenges it creates.

See article on Oct. 4 Woodford County Journal newsstands

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