Thursday, November 21, 2019

Amber Roseboom
Director of Media Relations
Catholic Diocese of Arlington

MEDIA ADVISORY: Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Alexandria Raises Awareness for Plight 
of the Homeless at Annual “Homeless for a Night Campout”

Parishioners Take to the Parish Grounds for the Seventh Consecutive Year


ARLINGTON, Va. - On Saturday, November 23, Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Alexandria, Va., will stage its seventh consecutive “Homeless for a Night Campout.” Participants will build cardboard shelters to sleep outside of Good Shepherd Catholic Church. The evening is part of the parish's broad efforts to raise awareness of homelessness and the needs many people encounter when they lack stable housing. 

WHO:             Good Shepherd Catholic Church and Anyone Interested in Taking a Stand to End Homelessness               

WHEN:          Saturday, November 23, 2 p.m. - Sunday, November 24, 7 a.m.

WHERE:       Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 8710 Mount Vernon Highway, Alexandria                 

In addition to sleeping in cardboard shelters, participants will be given a presentation on the local Christ House ministry Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington offers in Alexandria. Christ House provides transitional housing, including counseling and job mentoring, for 14 homeless men, a food pantry, emergency financial assistance, a clothing ministry and thrift store, and, with the help of scores of parishes and community groups, a nightly evening meal that has served the local homeless population every night since 1974.

Good Shepherd Catholic Church volunteers with Christ House will prepare an evening meal similar to those served at Christ House for all “Homeless for a Night Campout” participants. The parish will also collect socks for the local hypothermia shelter at Rising Hope United Methodist Church and fresh oranges and apples to be distributed through Catholic Charities' St. Lucy Project.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, on any given night last year, “roughly 553,000 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States” (2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, USHUD).  In Virginia alone, that number was 5,975.

For additional information on the campout click here.  Participants are not allowed electronics, power tools, wood or hammers/nails.

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The Catholic Diocese of Arlington was established on August 13, 1974, and is home to 71 parishes and more than 460,000 Catholics. There are currently 276 priests serving in the Diocese and 45 seminarians discerning a priestly vocation. The Diocese has 37 parish (K-8) schools, four diocesan high schools, four independent Catholic schools and five free-standing (not connected with a parish school) pre-schools, serving more than 17,000 students. 

The Diocese includes the seven cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester and the 21 counties of Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, King George, Lancaster, Loudoun, Madison, Northumberland, Orange, Page, Prince William, Rappahannock, Richmond, Shenandoah, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren and Westmoreland.