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Evangel Eagles build cardboard box town for Providence House

Forget about a state park with restrooms, RVs or even a cot, this weekend hundreds of people will camp out in cardboard shelters at the Independence Bowl.
Forget about a state park with restrooms, RVs or even a cot, this weekend hundreds of people will camp out in cardboard shelters at the Independence Bowl.
Sleepout 4 Independence is a fundraiser for providence house, and teams from local schools, churches and other organizations are giving up the comfort to learn more about the reality of homelessness.
Evangel Christian Academy students do things in a big way, and that's how they're handling the Sleepout challenge.
"We're planning on building an Eagleville," said Alexis Brit, Evangel Student Council president.
They're building a village to house their entire team overnight Saturday.
Brit encouraged the school to get involved because it benefits the Providence House.
"We just really want to help.  We've actually had two members of the student council graduate from Providence house - so it’s really close to our heart," said Brit.
The shelter works with homeless families so they can turn their lives around.
"I stayed there when I was young when my mom was in a lot of trouble... She was in the program for two years," said Emmanuel Bass, former Providence House family.
Bass now plays football for the Eagles, and is humbled by his classmates efforts to help the organization that helped his family.
"It gives them a home and a job," said Bass.
Students say their two main necessities when it comes to camping out in cardboard boxes: plenty of sleeping bags and blue tarps in case it rains.
Providence House Executive Director, Simone Hennessee, hopes the experience of being out in the elements all night inspires them to find a solution.
"We'll have a team of our graduates on the ground really engaging all these young people on the issues... getting them to think about what it’s really like," said Hennessee.
Bass believes Sleepout for independence will show the community that anyone can become homeless.
"See how homeless people stay, and don’t make fun of it because it’s really serious," said Bass.
Providence House executive director, Simone Hennessee tells us up to 700 people could be camping out at the I-Bowl overnight Saturday into Sunday.
Local celebrity musicians, Willie Jones and Dez Duron, are hosting the event.
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