Family Promise of Lycoming County, the collective of 14 churches that helps houseless families while they find a new place to live, will sponsor its first "Amazing Race to End Homelessness" on Saturday at 9 a.m. at Montoursville's Indian Park.
Teams will work together to keep a hypothetical family in their home by completing a list of 12 tasks, in a manner similar to the board game "Life."
"Every team will have a different scenario they're working off of," said Melissa Magargle, Family Promise executive director. "They're everyday things, like paying your rent, your electric bill, your phone bill. Where the life consequences come in is they have to figure out what order they're doing things in - if a team chooses to pay the rent first, they might get a discount. If they pay as their eighth thing, the card might say the landlord decided not to renew the lease due to chronically late payments."
Teams will also have the opportunity to do several physical activities, provided by the Outdoor Recreation class at Penn College of Technology, that can earn them extra funds to keep their family in their home.
The booths where teams will pay off their bills will be sponsored by agencies such as the Veterans' Administration, the Salvation Army, AmeriCorps and STEP, whom will also be handing out informational materials and some prizes.
Attendees will be voting on their favorite city bus design, made by area youth groups on cardboard boxes, to represent the majority of Family Promise families who must use public transit to get around.
The band from Faith United Methodist Church will provide music, there will be a cake wheel and food available, for those who come just to check things out.
"This is so people realize how easy it is (to become homeless)," Magargle said. "It's something we want to acknowledge in the learning process of this game."