Presaging an injection of feel-good songs, Amy Kaufman of the Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) addressed Dance Marathon during Block 4 to explain how the money students raised will help families in need get back on the feet.
CPAH purchases and refurbishes aparment building and homes and then sells or rents them to low income people. Kaufman, the director of Community Relations and Development at CPAH, gave the story of a father of four who had to give up his stable job in Chicago for a low-paying position in Evanston after his wife became mentally ill. With the lower salary, he lost his house. Months after he found a rental apartment, his landlord raised his rent by $300 per month, putting them out on the street. That's where CPAH stepped in, giving him a stable home at an affordable price.
"You cannot overstate what it means for someone to have a roof over their head," Kaufman said. "If you don't have a roof over you head, you can't worry about whether you have food, you can't worry about whether you have healthcare."
Flashing a picture on the screen of about 20 Dance Marathon committee members standing outside a brown brick apartment, Kaufman said DM's involvement started with a service trip refurbishing an apartment building. Five low-income families will soon move in. "You guys are now in the CPAH tent, and we're not going to let you go," Kaufman said.
Kaufman said the people benefiting could be anyone from the people who bag groceries to hairdressers.
Reflecting the upbeat tone of Kaufman's speech, DM then reprised it's Sunrise tradition with The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun." Dancers huddled and linked arms in circles, holding yellow balloons as they sang together.