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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, miss604.com

Franco Caligiuri
Owner/Consultant,
Capital Core Financial

Marissa Cepelinski
Owner,
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
President,
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
Principal,
Synergy Properties Ltd.

 Manny Padda
Managing Director,
PM Search Partners

Justin Pasutto
Professional Snowboarder

Joy Pecknold
Western Editor,
FASHION Magazine 

Carine Redmond
Publicist

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
Dentist/Owner,
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!

"You guys are more like family to me then my own family."

It had been 4 months since Carter stayed with us in Crisis Shelter.   Carter left Vancouver for a while and went back home to try reconnect with family. While Carter was gone he called every 2 weeks or so to check in. Every time he called we would have conversations about his life, what he was doing and what he wanted to do. Sometimes our chats were more serious, sometimes not.

I remember one phone call; it was a special day for Carter, his 22nd birthday. He called, and when I heard his voice on the other end I knew it was him, and before he could say anything... I sang him a quick happy birthday, thanked him for calling and let him know that it was nice to hear from him. It had been a hard day in the Shelter and I shared with Carter that his phone call had really made my day much better.  He answered, “well of course I was going to call on my birthday… you guys are more like family to me then my own family.”

We talked for a while, and during this conversation it became clear that Carter was changing. He sounded different, his words and thoughts different too, and although he still seemed to be “figuring things out” it was clear that he was changing. After this phone call, he stayed in touch… updating us on his life. He found a job working with his uncle, was working on re-connecting with family, and was doing quite well. He spoke about returning to Vancouver eventually... when he was ready... and spoke about what he wanted to do if he came back to Covenant House. 

A few months later Carter showed up at the front desk at the Drake Shelter ready to do the work needed to become independent. Carter did really well in Shelter… his time away seemed to help him with finding more purpose in his life and all of us in Shelter are encouraged by his new found motivation and maturity. He secured a job doing stucco work, a passion of his, and he is determined to keep his job and save money to get his own place.

Carter has proven that sometimes, distance and time away, really does make a difference.

image of man thinking

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