Last night 55 women united to raise funds and awareness for Covenant House Vancouver and the young people who turn to us for help every day.
Sleep Out: Mothers or Daughters brought together mothers and daughters from all walks of life who at our most recent count, raised $235,391! This will go directly towards Covenant House’s Outreach Program which connects youth workers with kids who are living on the streets and in need of immediate care.
The evening began with the participants getting to know each other and more about our programs. The sleepers were given a powerful presentation on how the opioid crisis is affecting our youth and our community.
A panel discussion with four young people and two of our staff, helped our sleepers learn more about youth homelessness. The youth who participated each had very different reasons for coming to Covenant House:
“Circumstances piled up and I ended up losing both my job and house at the same time. I stayed at my friends house for about a week and then someone recommended CHV. I’ve been staying in the program since and it’s been very helpful”
“When I was supporting myself I didn’t have much time to work on my mental health…. I was barely making ends meet. Being at Covenant House has helped me…”
“CHV helped me focus on my goals a lot. Sometimes its difficult to get focused and it really helps to have a stable house… it’s a lot of support, I couldn’t be more grateful for it”
The youth shared what they were most proud of including:
“What I am most proud of is just being alive. Being here and being able to talk to you guys and share my experience.”
“The work I’ve done with my mental health… It’s become much easier now that I have some tools to work with and an idea of where I want to be”
After getting ready for “bed”, the sleepers headed outside with just a piece of cardboard and a sleeping bag and hunkered down for the evening. Although it was clear, it was still chilly and uncomfortable on the concrete, giving our sleepers a deeper insight into what our youth go through night after night.
A group reflection finished up the event in the morning and a common theme that emerged from the participants was gratitude, love and community. The sleepers acknowledged that they also felt cold, tired, sore and scared but it was for only one night.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to all of the mothers and daughters who garnered support from their friends and family and slept out to raise money and awareness for our young people.