"You haven't really been homeless until you really had to lay on the ground and just let go because you have no other option, you have no other choice," said Tiana Goodwine.
Twenty-year-old Goodwine knows what it means to be a homeless teen.
"I was adopted at two years old but I was in a very abusive foster home so I became homeless when I was 13," she said.
She told her story to dozens of Rochester teens at the Fourth Annual Cardboard City event, put on by the City of Rochester.
It's where teens generate donations and raise awareness of youth homelessness by building a city out of cardboard at Cobbs Hill Park.
"That's what we are here for, to help people get a better understanding of what homelessness is," Rosa Maria Martinez, Youth Participant.
It was a plan that started out picture perfect until some unexpected clouds and eventually a downpour caused organizers to improvise.
"This is how we roll. We have to roll with whatever we are doing. Our youth put so much time and energy into this and they've been planning this for months so there was no way we were going to step out now," said Brandi Remington, City of Rochester.
Now instead of cardboard city, Riley Lodge at Cobbs Hill park was turned into a makeshift shelter.
"When you're homeless, you don't know what's going to come next, you just have to improvise and think fast on your feet so we are giving them an example of that as well," said Remington.
And as teens prepared for the long night ahead, the weather may have changed their plans, but not their objective.
"There's always something to be learned no matter what happens," said CJ Miles, Youth Advisor.