Last night, 30 local executives, community leaders and celebrities slept outside in solidarity with the hundreds of young people who call Vancouver’s streets home, to raise funds for Covenant House Vancouver’s Crisis Shelter program. With just a sleeping bag and a piece of cardboard, the “sleepers” braved -3 degree weather as part of Covenant House’s Sleep Out: Executive Edition.
The evening began with the participants sitting down to a wonderful dinner prepared by our kitchen staff (who prepare over 100,000 meals each year). Then, the sleepers participated in roundtable discussions with Covenant House youth who shared their personal experiences and provided tips for braving the elements. The youth then led a tour of our Crisis Shelter and Rights of Passage programs. After enjoying a bed-time snack with the youth, the sleepers geared up for the cold night ahead.
After waking up this morning (most didn’t get much sleep), the participants acknowledged that sleeping outside for one night does not compare to what it is really like for youth who must do so night after night. They did however, get a glimpse into experiencing the cold, feeling exposed and vulnerable out in the open. Unlike our youth, the sleepers took comfort in knowing that come morning, they could go home to a hot shower and a warm bed.
The sleepers called upon their friends, family and business associates to sponsor their night on the street and exceeded our goal of $270,000 by raising $341,583 which goes towards our total annual goal of $11M. Sincere thanks to all our participants and their supporters.
Click here to see a list of participants.