Guests arriving at the fourth annual Mayor’s Ball were greeted by a red carpet and a tent city. Volunteers posing as homeless people camped outside the Palm Beach County Convention Center reminded gala attendees about the purpose of the evening: to help the homeless in Palm Beach County.
The Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County managed to mix education with the festivities at the annual fundraiser. Each guest received a masquerade mask as they entered the party, and then learned the purpose behind the fun photo props.
“The homeless in our community often hide behind a mask that everything is OK. They don’t want people to know about their situation, out of fear of losing their job, or worse, their children. This often makes them feel invisible,” Homeless Coalition Executive Director Marilyn Munoz said. “We want to help people see behind the mask, understand that there is a need and step up to help.”
Homeless programs in Palm Beach County are helping. Every place setting at the Mayor’s Ball included a story about a homeless person who has been helped by the Homeless Coalition.
“While the circumstances in each case are unique, the need for housing is not,” Palm Beach County Mayor Paulette Burdick told guests during her speech. “Everyone deserves a safe place to rest their head at the end of the day.”
Burdick has said she would like to make affordable housing a priority during her term. Funds raised by previous years events have helped 890 homeless men, women and children attain permanent housing.
ABOVE: Marilyn Munoz, Pamela Goodman, PBC Mayor Paulette Burdick and Neil Schiller.