BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Home Sweet Home Ministries and Trinity Lutheran Church partnered for the seventh year to host the “Night in a Car” fundraising event Friday night.

The goal is to encourage community members to spend a night in their car to get a glimpse of homelessness. In addition to the in-person participants there are people participating virtually in their driveway throughout Central Illinois, California, Texas, Georgia and Florida.

The goal is to raise $200,000 with proceeds going to Home Sweet Home Ministries for services such as shelter, meals and counseling.

Christa Lawhun of the Redbirds Out and About All Night Team said it is a humbling experience.

“It just really reminds us what we do have and how easily it can go bye-bye real quick,” she said. “Cause most of us, not all, but most of us live paycheck to paycheck. And it’s just one paycheck away from living on the street.”

The first year $25,000 was raised and last year Home Sweet Home exceeded its goal by $25,000 raising over $175,000. Leslie Bunge, Director for Night in a Car, said it’s great to see how much the event has grown over the years.

“It kind of inspires and motivates people to do more in the community so that’s just wonderful,” she said. “I’ve just been in awe to see it grow so much and just know the momentum builds around the event every year and the support is just phenomenal.”

So far $140,000 has been raised and donations are open until the end of the month. To donate visit