|Andrew Judah is one of the musicians performing at a fundraiser for the homeless. It takes place Friday at St. Michael and All Angels Cathedral.|
She found herself drawn to a group at school that offered acceptance and something else -something to smoke and drink that made her feel better for awhile. Her mom remarried and the stepdad brought his younger children into the home. By then Emily was addicted.
Conflict escalated in the home. They tried to work it out, but things went from bad to worse. She hated their rules. They hated her influence on the younger children. Eventually, they told her she had to leave.
Emily had dropped out of school and was basically unemployable.
For a while, she couch surfed. In the summer she hung out with some people in tents on the edge of an orchard. She hid in a department store for a couple of nights. Winter came and she walked the streets. Life became about where to find the next fix, the next meal and somewhere to sleep out of the wind.
Emily is just one homeless person and each one has a story. Some of the stories may cause you to think that person invited their own troubles. In other stories, the person seems like a victim. Either way, the need is real. They have no place to be.Â
You have a chance to experience in a small way of the feelings of homelessness at Night At The Inn, taking place in Kelowna this week.
"This event is an unusual chance to get real about homelessness, hearing from someone who has been there, walking in solidarity with those who seek shelter for the night, and even experiencing a night in a shelter," said Tara Tschritter of Inn from the Cold, a shelter at 1187 Sutherland Ave.
You'll have the option of eating a late-night supper such as the homeless get at a shelter, and spending the night in their beds. The overnight experience at the inn is a sleep-over with a purpose. You'll participate in a time of reflection and exchange of ideas on the topic of homelessness.
Tickets for the overnight option are $125, with only 35 available. The ticket price pays for five nights for some real homeless person to sleep at the inn.
If that's a little more experience than you can handle, the Night At The Inn has two other options for you to consider.
One is to join in at St. Michael of All Angels Cathedral for a night of music, dance and art, culminating in an opportunity to hear about life on the streets of Kelowna from someone who has been there.
Finish the evening by joining in a solidarity walk from the cathedral to the shelter. Tickets for this option are by donation, suggested at $15.
Another option is to do all of that plus leave with a CD called InnCluded, which has been compiled and donated by a group of local musicians. Tickets for this are also by donation, suggested at $20.
There's more music to help you reflect. Tribehouse has put together a compilation CD featuring local artists, some of whom will perform at the Night At The Inn. Each group has donated a song to the project. All money raised from the sale of this CD will help the Inn from the Cold shelter.
Tribehouse is an artist collective that is offering their talent to the Night At The Inn. The evening will feature musicians such as Andrew Judah, The Trips, Joyful Door, The Creeks, Mark Irving, Dave Thackray, Jean Claude Tremblay and Josh Dobson, as well as visual artists from HeArt School exhibiting their work. The evening will also include dance and spoken word.
This is the fourth annual Night At The Inn, purposed to raise both funds and awareness during homelessness action week.
It takes place Friday at 7 p.m. at St. Michael and All Angels Cathedral, 608 Sutherland Ave.
"Your donations go directly to running our winter shelter program. Most importantly, you may see how you can fit in as a volunteer for Inn from the Cold and so encounter the very real people whose presence is missing from the Oct. 18 experience," said Tschritter.