POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - Aid for Friends in Pocatello is hosting its 17th annual encampment to raise awareness to the public about the growing of homelessness in the area.
On Dec. 2-3, volunteers will gather at 10 a.m. in Caldwell Park. They will build their own encampment out of cardboard boxes, which they will sleep in for the night in the potentially frigid cold.
“Not only do we get to feel and experience what [the homeless] have to experience if they’re left out in the cold,” AFF shelter manager Tami Moore said. “We also get to see what our town would experience if there was no shelter for them to go to.”
The volunteers will be provided with a “soup kitchen” dinner and stay warm around a burn barrel. This will remind people about homeless and raise funds for AFF.
A representative from Southeast Idaho public Health will be there to give the volunteers training.
“They will be there providing tips on how to stay warm and safe,” AAF’s access point Coordinator Jessica Buckley said. “And these are transferable tips.”
porch.com says Idaho ranked as having the 16th largest homeless population in the U.S. In January 2023, the Boise Homeless Coalition found almost 3,000 people in Idaho were homeless. That’s why Aid for Friends wants to help and spread awareness.
Since this is the agency’s 17th time holding this event, its goal is to raise $17,000 to partially fund its humanitarian services. The previous 16 encampments raised more than $222,000.
Donations can be mailed to:
P.O. Box 4233