On the eve of Thanksgiving of last year, local real estate broker Lynn Kirchner and her husband were wide awake in the middle of the night, with the same thing on their minds. They were thinking about a chance encounter earlier that evening with a homeless woman, and as Kirchner recalls, “I recognized the woman and realized that I knew her. She had been a local landowner and successful part of the community, and here she was at the bus stop dragging around all of her belongings in the middle of a frigid night.”
The Kirchners literally couldn’t sleep, kept awake by the thoughts of that woman, and who knows how many in similar circumstances, wandering the night looking for a warm place to sleep as the temperature dipped below zero. By morning, they had agreed that something needed to be done. Kirchner went to work, reaching out to her network and the community at large to organize a meeting to examine the issue. With the cold snap worsening, the need was becoming more pressing every night.
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