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Second Sleep Out a Success

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.

sleepers trying to sleep

sleep out 2013

sleep out 2013 group shot

Sleep Out: Executive Edition Tonight

Tonight executives, public figures and well-connected leaders in our community will sleep outside for one night in solidarity with those youth who may face many more cold, lonely nights until they find their way through the doors of Covenant House Vancouver.

From Anchorage to New York, Toronto to New Orleans and in other major cities across North America, participants will raise funds from their companies, colleagues, friends and family to support the life-changing work that is being done to help young people leave the streets and begin new lives. These leaders will draw the attention of the larger business community and our nation to the problem of homelessness among young people.

Click on a participant to support them and to learn why they are sleeping out in support of homeless youth:

Jeff Bacha
President & CEO,
Del Mar Pharmaceuticals

Mark Betteridge
Mark Betteridge & Associates (MBA) Inc.

Lana Bradshaw
Managing Director,
Holloway Schulz & Partners

Mark Brand

CEO, Mark Brand Inc.

Kobie Brandt
Senior Vice President,
Western Canada & US, Impark

Rebecca Bollwitt
Miss 604,

Franco Caligiuri
Capital Core Financial

Marissa Cepelinski
Capital Core Financial

Tim Collins
Vice President, Assistant Branch Manager, TD Wealth

Rob Doyle
CFO, Pan American Silver Corp

Sue Drinnan
Wisdom Collective

Steve Elson
Sergeant, VPD

John Jennings
Senior Client Partner, Korn/Ferry International

Lorinda Haider
Director of Business Development, Western Canada, Transperfect

Jillian Harris
TV Personality,
ABC, HGTV & W Network

 Terry Krepiakevich
Corporate Director, Concordia Resources Corp

Bob Lenarduzzi
Vancouver Whitecaps

Ryan Lenarduzzi
Athletic Events, Marketing & Sports Development Officer,
Capilano University

Riaz Meghji
Co-founder, 1Karma
Co-host on Breakfast Television on CityTV

Kingsley Noel
Synergy Properties Ltd.

 Manny Padda
Managing Director,
PM Search Partners

Justin Pasutto
Professional Snowboarder

Joy Pecknold
Western Editor,
FASHION Magazine 

Carine Redmond

Renee Robertson
Director, Event Production,
Peak Potentials 

Jason Sarai
Co-founder, 1Karma

Kirsten Titcomb
Vice President, Thursday Investment Corporation

Krista Thompson
Executive Director,
Covenant House Vancouver 

 Leslie Wong
Dental Clinic at Robson

 Alex Yamini
Director, Finance,
TALA Enterprises Ltd.

Join in the discussion on Twitter using the hash tag #CHSleepOut. Participants in thirteen different cities across North America will be live tweeting about their firsthand experience sleeping outside.

Thanks to all our “Sleepers” and their supporters!

John finally asked for help and begins to talk about his mental health

A youth that I’ve been working with for a couple of months lost his job on the weekend. While it’s never a happy thing to hear, sometimes it’s actually a blessing in disguise. John came to us from another province, where he had been living with his father.  While John was very friendly and likeable, he did not like to share much about himself, as he considers himself a very private person and thinks he should be able to take care of his problems on his own.  He did tell us he was in foster care when he was young, as he was abused emotionally and physically by his mother. We also knew that he had tried to commit suicide a few years ago.

Shortly after coming to us, John found a job in a restaurant. He worked hard at his job and clearly enjoyed it, but we could see that John was not sleeping well and seemed pretty down at times. Losing the job was quite a blow to John, but the subsequent conversation that happened with his worker led to John opening up to staff and realizing that he needed help.

John revealed that he has been struggling with depression for a long time and felt that this was the beginning of a bad period for him. He shared that the holiday season was a particularly hard time. Like many of our youth, John was sad to be without family at this time of year, but the holiday's also bring back many memories of family conflict. John, who for so many months, said he could deal with his issues on his own, finally asked for help and wanted to talk about his mental health. We were able to refer John to our Mental Health Team through Covenant House, to get the care he needs.  John is also now talking about finishing high school. He realizes he’ll have his whole life to work, but will be much more successful if he takes care of himself first.

young man sad image

Mark Betteridge for Covenant House Vancouver & Sleep Out

On November 21st, executives, public figures and well-connected leaders in our community will sleep outside for one night in solidarity with those youth who may face many more cold, lonely nights until they find their way through the doors of Covenant House Vancouver.

Mark Betteridge is one of these dedicated people, as a former Board Chair of Covenant House Vancouver and as the Executive Director/CEO of Discovery Parks this is Mark’s second year sleeping out for Covenant House. In the below video Mark shares why he is sleeping out and why he feels helping homeless young people is so important.

To learn more about Sleep Out click here and to view Mark Betteridge’s personal Sleep Out Page click here.

Please note Chris Maksylewicz of Mad Hatter Productions produced this video at zero cost. Thank you!