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Pastor, Staff Go Homeless for Night

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Prairie Village, Kan. pastor and his staff are raising awareness of homelessness during his annual homeless for one night event.

Timmy Gibson of Mercy Church, along with four staff members, spent 24 hours starting on Saturday, on the city streets.

He said they've never had to deal with rain before, but was a little excited.

"We'll actually get to see what they have to go through," Gibson said.

Gibson said every year they learn something different about the homeless.

He said this year, it seems there is a new face to homelessness.

Gibson said they met younger people who were of sound mind, instead of the stereotypical drug addicts and people who need mental health services.

Gibson said he has lived homeless for a night for six years.

He said critics say he is not truly experiencing homelessness because of the short amount of time he does it. But Gibson said it's the act of being surrounded by a certain population you wouldn't normally be around, and then changing how you interact with them the next time you see them.

He said his experience doing this has helped him understand that the homeless are people too, and should not be ignored. Gibson said now, he introduces himself.

He will talk about his experience this year on Sunday at 10 a.m. at Mercy Church in Prairie Village.

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