LAGRANGE, GA (WTVM) - It can be hard to imagine what it's like to spend the whole night outside without any shelter, but on Friday night some people experienced some of the same struggles that many without a permanent home face everyday.
Sleeping outside may not be the first choice for many, but the Troup County Homeless Coalition, formed in 2011 is committed to finding ways to end homelessness.
"Sometimes we think that it's people with addiction, people with mental illness and we found that's not always the case .That it's just people who maybe lost a job or came upon a hardship they have not been able to solve," said Wanda Walker of Troup County Homeless Coalition.
'A Night Without A Roof' is one way to solve the issue. The event encouraged people to sleep in cardboard boxes at Lafayette Square in downtown LaGrange.
"Also an opportunity for the community to see faces of the homeless and so we can begin to make relationships and connections with those who are homeless," said Walker.
To make the event more realistic, besides sleeping out in the cold, people were served soups and sandwiches as they would in homeless shelters. A mother and daughter held a sign that read, 'My mom lost her job! I'm hungry'. It sent a strong message to the crowd at the event.
"I think it will raise awareness and a lot of people are not aware at all that we have homelessness and the last count I think was 1,200 and that's a lot," said Laura Horne, raising money for homeless.
A LaGrange pastor and his congregation are also helping with the cause.
"It's hard to help a need you don't know about and so tonight is about raising awareness in this city and using out influence to make a difference," said Josh Rhye of Three Life Church.
People also heard stories from those who were homeless and living in shelters. The coalition also asked for donations to help provide services for those in need.
Those who registered to bring their card board boxes spent the whole night outside until 8 a.m. on Saturday. They were also to served a hot breakfast.