Last night, 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 Program. Todd Talbot (Love it or List it Vancouver) slept out and was joined by Riaz Meghji (Breakfast Television) and Kaitlyn Bristowe (The Bachelorette) and 49 others who endured a cold and soggy night. At most recent count, $1,110,658.39 has been raised, exceeding our expectations and making this the first year we cracked the $1M milestone!
The evening began with the participants getting to know each other and touring our female identified Crisis Program and Drop-In Centre. Two current Covenant House and a former youth participated in a panel discussion, sharing their stories and the circumstances that led to their homelessness. When asked what life was like before finding Covenant House, one youth said “before CHV I didn’t know if I would make it till 19 or even 17. I learned how people should treat me and how I should treat myself.” When asked to describe Covenant House this young person simply said it is “home”.
It was a damp night but the pouring rain ended just before the sleepers headed outside. In the morning, the participants took part in a group reflection exercise, describing what the experience meant to them. One participant said that he felt incredibly isolated out on the pavement even though he was surrounded by 51 other people. Another said that he couldn’t imagine the despair a young person must face when they sleep on the street and wake up to nothing.
Words cannot express our gratitude to all of our Sleepers and their supporters! There is still time to donate to the Sleep Out: Executive Edition. Click to donate to the event or to a specific sleeper.