Triangle execs play homeless for charity

Posted September 7, 2012

Michael Goodmon

— More than 20 local executives, including WRAL General Manager Steve Hammel and American Tobacco Vice President of Real Estate Michael Goodmon, slept under the stars Thursday night to raise awareness about poverty and homelessness.

Participants in the United Way CEO Sleepout in Durham made hundreds of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for local shelters. 

Their sleeping accommodations – a piece of cardboard, an entire box or a sleeping bag – depended on how much money they raised.

"The gorgeous thing about us right now is that we get to go home. We get to go home, take a shower, go to work and do what we've go to do," Goodmon said. "It's amazing to realize that there's people who don't have that option. Their only choice is to do this again and do it again and do it again. It's pretty powerful just to get a small taste of that."

The United Way estimates that more than 200,000 people in Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake counties live in poverty.


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  • smegma Sep 11, 2012

    here's a fact with nothing to back it up.. most homeless CHOOSE TO BE. there's GOBS of resources for those that truly have a need to get back on their feet. drifters are content right where they are. so enough with the pity party, i think gov is doing a fine job pouring millions into useful assistance channels

  • rachel Sep 7, 2012

    I find it strange to drive past abandoned developments and empty houses-and people, children etc are homeless-there is a shelter/house right there-why isn't someone in it instead of on the streets? It is because we as a society and yes, big banks and business take a punitive approach to hard times, rather then lend a hand-make a misstep and I can assure you an indifferent corporation/bank/government will be happy to put you in the streets-all because you messed up playing the game.

  • Flingpooatyou Sep 7, 2012

    Did the homeless get to live like a CEO while the CEO's "played" homeless?

  • NCSUEngineerFC Sep 7, 2012

    Nice to see people raising money for the homeless, but I must say a better headline is needed for this article.

    If you want to see the nuts and bolts of an organization that does this kind of thing year-round, check out the Durham and Raleigh Rescue Missions.

  • PTParks Sep 7, 2012

    I'm sure authorities scoured the area to make sure there weren't any real homeless in the immediate area. Wouldn't want to actually make contact with one, would they?

    Stop ranting....I'm kidding. It was a great gesture on the part of the local executives.

  • btneast Sep 7, 2012

    This is true - the government has failed them.

    .....The government is not a cure all for all ills. People have really got to stop looking to "the government" as the answer to every problem. The government is not some benign entity....its you and me and everyone else in this country. Everytime someone suggests "the government" should do something, they should reach back and tough their wallet, because thats where it is coming from. This event actually raised local funds....VOLUNTARILY...which is a good thing.

  • candyappleelixir Sep 7, 2012

    Call it what you want, the bottom line is, they raised $30, 000 which will go towards helping people. It was a charitable contribution and I respect what these execs were willing to do. Again, $30K is still $30k. Now these men can go back to work, earn more money, pay their taxes and contribute some more.

  • hardycitrus Sep 7, 2012

    It's very risky letting your name be used or to be "quoted" by local media, anywhere. what ends up in print usually has nothing to do with what was actually done or said.

  • BubbaDukeforPresident Sep 7, 2012

    I think it's great what these CEOs are doing. The need is real. The idea for the sleepout was actually taken from the ministry - Meet Me at the Bridge who held a homeless-for-a-night sleepout last summer to raise awareness of homelessness in Durham. With a large segment of the homeless population being veterans, more help is needed. The purpose wasn't to showboat, but to inspire everyone to do what they can to help the people who fall between the cracks.

  • newsjunk Sep 7, 2012

    This was a poorly written account of a wonderful community service initiative to raise awareness of a heartbreaking issue. No wonder the comments found fault when the headline was so disturbingly leading. What the article failed to mention is not only was this "event" (which is what the United Way always considered this, never pretending it was more than that) meant to build awareness but it also was a fundraiser with each attendee reaching out to their contacts personally and professionally and raising money. The Herald-Sun news has a more in-depth article detailing the story for those interested in the facts, including the fact that these VOLUNTEERS raised over $30,000 earmarked for support of our area's homeless citizens. Thanks to those that participated.