CHARLOTTE -- About 50 Charlotte area teens slept in cardboard boxes overnight to learn about the struggles of the homeless. The teens built the shelters and camped out on the grounds of the Park Road Baptist Church for the exercise, which was sponsored by the Mecklenburg Ministries.
The teens hail from schools and church congregations all over Mecklenburg County. The leaders of Mecklenburg Ministries say they are hoping the exercise will teach the students to have empathy for the homeless and take that awareness back to their communities.
"We hope that we can create better awareness of homelessness and issues surrounding homelessness, not just through statistics, but actually through experience" said Reverend Jason Williams of the Mecklenburg Ministries.
Many of the children who participated in the activity said it is an experience that will forever change their opinions about homelessness.
"It's a life-changing experience. It makes you look at life totally different and the things that go on around you." said Chandler Sanders, a member of the Mecklenburg Ministries Youth Leadership Council.