WILMINGTON — The southeast corner parking lot on courthouse square is the new site for Cardboard City, the main fundraiser for the Clinton County Homeless Shelter.
Accompanying the new location is a new activity: Organizers hope enough people show at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 to form a human chain of hands around the sidewalk on the courthouse block. Organizers also want to have a drone photograph the human chain from above.
Clinton County Homeless Shelter Board of Directors President Sharon Benning said she saw something similar done for a homeless event in Alabama where they formed a line of people.
“It just came to me with the new venue. When I thought of it I just got chills — a human chain around the courthouse with everybody holding hands,” said Benning.
After being located at the municipal parking lot off Locust Street, Cardboard City is moving to the employee lot next to the Clinton County Courthouse. The county parking lot is bigger than the city hall lot is.
The adjacent part of Walnut Street between Main and Sugartree streets will be blocked off for the 6 p.m. Sept. 19 to 5 a.m. Sept. 20 Cardboard City event.
Funds for the local homeless shelter are raised through pledge amounts from participants. But Benning and Stryker stress people don’t have to stay all night in cardboard boxes to stop by and see the cardboard houses and the “canstruction” projects, or see a late-night movie and have pizza prior to participants retiring to their cardboard homes by midnight.
The theme of the second annual canstruction contest is movie characters. The structure needs to be built from canned goods, box goods, toiletries and non-perishable food items, with all items donated to the homeless shelter’s food pantry.
“We’re encouraging people to come and watch people put together their canstructions,” Benning said. The assembling of canstruction projects will occur between 6:30 and 8 p.m. Sept. 19.
She recommended canstruction builders practice their projects by pre-building so they can learn whether they have enough cereal boxes, for example, to create the desired effect.
“With the theme, there should be some pretty fun stuff,” she added.
On Thursday, Aug. 20 there were 12 adults and 10 children at the local homeless shelter. Eight of the children are school age. During 2014, a total of 226 people resided in the local shelter.
For those who want to donate to the fundraiser but not sleep outside, they can send a check made payable to Clinton County Homeless Shelter and mail it to Cardboard City 2015, c/o 253 Linkhart Road, Wilmington, OH 45177.
Cardboard City is organized and sponsored by the Wilmington A.M. Rotary Club.
“They appreciate what the shelter does and they’ve just been great, especially with the new location and all the new challenges. It’s just been great working with them,” said Benning.
Registration forms can be found on the shelter’s website www.clintoncountyhomelessshelter.com and its Facebook page.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.