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 & Jason Sarai (1Karma), Kasia Bodurka (Global BC) and Kirk LaPointe (Business in Vancouver) and 51 others who endured a cold night. At most recent count, $1,072,809.59 has been raised, exceeding our expectations and allowing us to reach so many vulnerable young people.
The evening began with the participants getting to know each other and touring our new 1302 Seymour building’s female identified Crisis Program and Drop-In Centre. Two current Covenant House youth and a former youth participated in a panel discussion, sharing their stories and the circumstances that led to their homelessness.
One youth shared how Covenant House had helped, “in every palpable way. When I first came I had been struggling with homelessness for 2 years. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to hold down a job. I got help with my mental health. I got to the point when I can hold down a steady job. I’m doing to school now. I never thought I would be able to do that. I’m finally seeing some sort of potential in my life.” Another youth said, “They help you with everything. They helped me get a job. Getting my ID together. They helped me register for school.”
It was a chilly night and temperatures got down to 2 degrees. In the morning, the participants took part in a group reflection exercise, describing what the experience meant to them. One participant said, ” even though I have done it for four years it is still a difficult night”. Another sleeper shared, “that sleeping out was truly inspiring.”
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.