It is estimated that as many as 3.5 million people are homeless in the United States every year. YNN's Chris Whalen met up with students and faculty at BCC, who are trying to raise awareness of the problem locally.
DICKINSON, N.Y. -- Normally, Wes Warren calls a house in Apalachin his home, but Wednesday night, he opted for a park bench on the BCC campus instead.
"I go ahead and take my tarp, pull the tarp over, I've got my golf club here for protection, I can also use it to maneuver around, take the tarp, put it over my head, I'm in for the night, anybody comes by I can open the tarp, see who's around. We're trying to simulate homelessness the best we can and as accurate as we can," Warren said.
For some involved, the simulation is an all too real reminder of what life used to be like for them.
"A long time ago when I was real little, my mom and us were kind of homeless and sleeping out in the wilderness, and then I realized I don't ever want to do that again," said BCC student Destinee Parvin.
But for one night, Parvin and others are going homeless to raise money, and more importantly awareness of what those who live like this every day have to go through.
"A lot of people have to use newspapers and boxes to go through rain storms and snow storms, a lot of people get sick because of the weather conditions," Parvin said.
"The dew hits about 4:30 a.m., at 4:30 it is cold, it is wet and it is miserable," Warren said.
Serving as a reminder of how lucky they are every other day of the year.
"I'm incredibly grateful that I'm not in that position and I want to make sure that others don't have to be in that same position," Parvin said.
But for one night, it's a sacrifice they're willing to make.
If you want to help the cause, you can send checks to:
c/o BCC Foundation
PO Box 1017
Binghamton, NY 13902