most of us will never know what it's
like to be without a home, a group of
students from West Jefferson Elementary
School in Ashe County gets a firsthand
look into the life of a homeless person. The
fifth grade spends one night in cardboard
boxes, with only a hamburger bun to eat.
During the night, teachers and parents wake the
students up and force them to
(much like the experiences of real-life homeless
The following morning, the students board a bus and head
to Samaritan Ministries, getting their first nutritious
meal since the day before. For three years, the Box City
program has taught boys and girls what it's like to do
without. The fifth grade teachers, Sonya Vannoy, Laura
Bowers and JoAnne Reavis, ask the students their feelings
and thoughts about the night. Their moving tribute speaks
volumes about life without a home, and the wisdom children
fifth grade teachers, Principal Bobby Ashley, and Guidance
Counselor Cindy Price, administer the Box City program.
"I am very stopped up and want to go home and get a
good night's sleep. My box is very small and uncomfortable.
The bread is very dry and doesn't satisfy me."
"I am really cold."
"I don't hear anymore talking, but I do hear
a few katydids in the distance."
left shoulder feels like it is dislocated. Homeless
people have hard lives. Boxes are hard to sleep
am thankful for my home, family and friends. I would
do anything for the homeless."
sound of pots and pans woke me up."
am kind of worried about visiting the homeless shelter.
Will they think we are rude for being there?"
feel okay but I know that real homeless people would be
mad about getting kicked out of their box. I also know
they would be tired and cold."
night my hamburger bun got ants all over it and worst
of all, I couldn't sleep."
am very, very mad. This is like boot camp."
think I know a little more about how the homeless live
didn't feel good when they kicked us out of their boxes.
I woke up in the middle of the night and I was freezing."
"I want to take a bath and brush my teeth with toothpaste.
I lost my socks so I have to do without any and my shoes
feel really cruddy."
already feel homeless. I'm glad I'm not."
will be glad that I have a house."
am so tired."
am very hungry."
think it will be sad and upsetting to see people who don't
have a home to go to every day."
think the homeless shelter will have lots of rooms."
think the shelter will look like a huge log cabin."
am glad our class can do this project."
back is sore from sleeping on concrete and every time
the bus bounces, my stomach hurts."
"I loved the lunch."
"The lunch was good."
"I felt bad that the homeless people had to wait
for us to get done."
am in the bus. We got to tour the shelter for about one
hour. After that, we had lunch. We had spaghetti, apples,
salad, toast, green beans and doughnuts."
homeless shelter was not anything like I had imagined.
It was nice. They had flowers on the table."
felt guilty about eating before the actual homeless people."
think we ate first because we were guests. It made me
sad because we are not homeless and we have food. I know
they must have felt mad and hungry."
from last years' Box City
remember the rain beating on my box and getting a little
project changed the way I feel about things, especially
"We should make signs in capital letters that say,
HELP THE HOMELESS."
learned that when a homeless person lays down to sleep,
someone will probably tell them to move somewhere else."
Box City, I'm positive I don't want to be homeless, but
sleeping in a box for one night was fun. I'm sure homeless
people don't think it's fun. To put it plainly, homeless
people have it tough."
sad to know there are so many homeless people."
learned a lot. It would be bad to be homeless. I learned
that homeless people are very nice and decent. Visiting
the homeless shelter was something I will never forget."
world is big enough for all of us, and it is also big
enough for all of us to have a home."
are two things I will remember. First, the people at the
shelter were very nice and treated everyone as a guest.
The second is the guilt I felt eating the homeless people's
sleeping in my own bed, I am glad I am not homeless. I
am grateful for my bed and my home. Passing all of them
at lunch made me feel bad because they should have gone
City taught me to be thankful for what I have."
the homeless people are so cold, hungry and thirsty, I
am going to pray for them."