Mats made by volunteers from Macomb Feeding the Need were provided for participants who wanted to sleep indoors during the Sleep Out event.

Mats made by volunteers from Macomb Feeding the Need were provided for participants who wanted to sleep indoors during the Sleep Out event.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Macomb Feeding the Need hosts Homeless Shelter Sleep Out

By: Joshua Gordon | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 29, 2018

  President of Macomb Feeding the Need Paul Mabry enters his cardboard shelter for the night during the organization’s Sleep Out event Jan. 19.

President of Macomb Feeding the Need Paul Mabry enters his cardboard shelter for the night during the organization’s Sleep Out event Jan. 19.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

ROSEVILLE — Macomb Feeding the Need held its second annual Homeless Shelter Sleep Out at Roseville Masonic Center, 27151 Gratiot Ave., from 7 p.m. Jan. 19 to 7 a.m. Jan. 20 to allow participants to experience what it’s like to sleep in the cold. 

Macomb Feeding the Need founder and Executive Director Cheryl Becigneul said the Sleep Out is the biggest fundraiser of the year. As of Jan. 25, the organization raised more than $5,000. 

“We do fundraisers all the time but our Sleep Out is probably the biggest one of the year. We’re trying to raise awareness and get people to see what’s it like to be homeless and on the streets. Most people aren’t aware just how bad it is,” said Becigneul. 

Unlike last year’s Sleep Out, this year’s participants slept inside and outside. 

“We did both outdoors and indoor shelter because we’ve had extremely cold weather, and I didn’t want to cancel it, so I gave them the option to sleep indoors or outside because you still get the experience of what it’s like to be homeless both ways,” said Becigneul.  

Those who slept indoors received a mat and a blanket, and those who slept outside had covers and a cardboard box. 

“We treated everybody like they were actually homeless for a night,” she said. 

There were 23 people who participated in the Sleep Out. One of those was Roseville Police Chief James Berlin, who said the event was an “eye-opener.”

“People that live out in the elements like that are much tougher than I am. The weather wasn’t horrendous when I was out there, but it was definitely cold. It gave me a lot of empathy for the folks who survive in this type of weather,” said Berlin. 

Berlin added that it was hard for him to get some sleep the night of the event. 

“The wind was howling; it was cars driving by; it was a lot of distractions. We were sleeping on the frozen ground, and you can feel the cold penetrate you throughout the night,” said Berlin. 

Becigneul said Macomb Feeding the Need is still accepting donations for those who were unable to participate in the sleep out. 

For more information on Macomb Feeding the Need or to make a donation, visit www.macombftn.org or call (586) 945-7090.