It’s Round 13 for one event that looks to battle one of Erie’s most persistent problems.
Chelsey Withers reports with a look at the Knockout Homelessness event.
Fighters are preparing to gear up, but event organizers say the efforts go far beyond the ring.
The exhibition features three matches as community leaders face off against members of the fighting Bizzarro family, but they aren’t really fighting each other. They are fighting homelessness through the work of the Erie City Mission.
“The individuals that come appreciate it. It’s one of those things that makes me proud to be a part of Erie, that we were able to put something together this nice for individuals who are struggling,” said Darrell Smith, Director of Men’s Ministries, Erie City Mission.
The mission has completed recent renovations to the building along French Street and will now look to knock out another fundraising effort to help build programs.
“The Erie City Mission alone sees 500 or so un-duplicated men every year in our shelter. When we factor in the number of times or the number of men that come back more than once, we are up to 650 touches a year, just in our emergency shelter alone,” said Smith.
Erie City Mission explained that this is the time of year that donations are down, but this event has continued to help change that.
“It is always really a collectic bunch of people that come, so that means everyone from the community is pitching in and buying into this philosophy of helping. That’s one of the things I’m most proud of, to be from Erie, that we are very generous and compassionate people,” said Smith.
The main goal does not have a number sign attached. However, make no mistake, it is the mission’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
“It’s amazing to see how many people come in through our raffle just to donate that can’t attend, but want to give back or who are helping us spread the word about homelessness, because really that is the purpose of this event,” said Erie Layden, Director of Development, Erie City Mission.
You can visit Erie City Mission‘s website for more information on the event.