Pastor marks 20th year spending Thanksgiving week with the homeless

Nov 20, 2018

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the annual week-long sleepout with homeless people by the Reverend Eric Johns, pastor of the Buffalo Dream Center.

Pastor Eric Johns (right) with long-time friend Keith Cauley

The sleepout is to raise awareness of an effort called Boxes of Love, to provide food and gifts to needy families and children for Christmas. Reverend Johns told WBFO News what he brings to be prepared for the week.

"I just bring a couple of shirts, a pair of jeans and a toothbrush," Johns said. "Everything fits in one bag. It's not much. You don't want to be carrying stuff around with you everywhere."

Monday night, Johns slept in a sleeping bag under a bridge on Exchange Street.

Johns is being joined by his two teenage sons, plus his sons-in-law. He said it gets tougher each year to do the sleepout as he gets older.

Johns said he hopes somdeone else will eventually take over the campaign to "shine the light on the need."