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The inspiring story of students helping students

One of the things we’re always so grateful for is the support we get from students – from elementary, high school, and university-aged youth who offer up their time and talent as a way of showing love and care for the young people who come to our doors seeking help.

A recent example of this comes from the inspiring story of Cat.

It all started when Cat signed up with her class to participate in Sleep Out: Student Edition last year. Part of the experience was a chance for her to visit us at our Pender street building. There she learned more about the programs and services we offer to youth.

In one of her emails to us afterwards, Cat wrote, “Earlier this spring, I visited your facilities with my school group as we were participating in the Sleep Out. I really appreciate your personalized Rights of Passage development program and the support you provide to help these youth transition their lives.”

Cat’s Sleep Out came and went, but little did we know that a few months later she would reach out to us again. She told us that she felt so fortunate that her parents were paying for her to attend university. And so, she decided to donate the money she had earned from her summer job to support one of the youth in our Rights of Passage program!

Cat generously donated $1,750 so that a fellow university student could feel supported as they continued their studies and worked towards a healthy and happy independence.

The power of students helping students

The thing that humbles us is that, year after year, students like Cat reach out to us and ask how they can get involved with supporting their fellow youth.

For example, last year alone, almost 165 individual students from 7 different schools participated in Sleep Out: Student Edition. Altogether, they raised almost $30,000 for homeless and at-risk youth.

And even when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, our student donors didn’t miss a beat. Instead of cancelling their events, they transformed them into their own virtual Sleep Outs – because even in a time of uncertainty, it was still important to them to give back and support the most vulnerable in our community.

So, we just want to take this time to give a big “Thank You!” to Cat and to each and every one of our student supporters out there in the community. You are all absolutely amazing and inspiring. Everything that you do for your fellow youth makes such a life-changing difference – we cannot thank you enough!

Now it’s your turn…

If you are interested in Sleep Out: Student Edition, or want to learn more about how students can get involved in the fight against youth homelessness, please contact Allison Briggs at