Share Our Selves employees Julie Neja, Mary Ann Huntsman and Leyda Rivera, from left, take a selfie with Jack Huntsman on Saturday after they all spent the night outside SOS’ location in Costa Mesa for the second annual Sleep Out on Superior event.(Courtesy Share Our Selves)
Mark Gagnon, chef from the Newport Beach Plaza retirement community, donated dinner on Friday and breakfast on Saturday for those who spent the night outside Share Our Selves’ clinic on Superior Avenue in Costa Mesa to help raise awareness about hunger and homelessness in Orange County.(Courtesy Share Our Selves)
More than 200 people participated in Share Our Selves’ Sleep Out on Superior event last weekend to help raise awareness about hunger and homelessness in Orange County.
The event, which included some participants sleeping overnight Friday at SOS’ Superior Avenue parking lot, commemorated National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, which occurs annually the week before Thanksgiving to encourage people to help others in need. Participants committed to sleeping outside for a night as a show of solidarity with local homeless people.
The evening featured speakers, a screening of the HBO documentary “Motel Kids,” and volunteer activities such as filling bags with Thanksgiving food and assembling hygiene kits for distribution to SOS clients.
Participants also were asked to donate $25 toward the SOS Food Pantry and other services, or $25 worth of socks, soap, shampoo, razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, blankets and other items.
According to Share Our Selves, almost 4,300 people are homeless on any given night in Orange County. The organization, which has service centers throughout the county, provides medical, dental and behavioral health services, case management, financial assistance and holiday programs.