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Sleep Out: Executive Edition — Cabinet Profile

Sleep Out: Executive Edition is almost upon us! What is Sleep Out: Executive Edition (SOEE)? SOEE is one night where executives, business leaders, and CHV board members come together, in solidarity with homeless youth, to raise critical funds that will be used to help vulnerable youth achieve the futures that they deserve.

This year, passionate advocates from the business community joined forces to create the Sleep Out Executive Cabinet. As a unified entity, the Cabinet is leveraging their resources in the hopes of inspiring other community leaders to join the Sleep Out movement.

We would like you to meet some of these inspiring individuals, who will share their stories as to why they have joined Sleep Out.

Meet Jared Nicola

Jared is the Construction Project Manager for Nicola Wealth Real Estate. Jared first heard about Sleep Out through the participation of his brother and dad, who invited Jared to join them last year.

Jared mentioned that his family has been involved in Sleep Out for years and always saw CHV as the frontline in the battle against homelessness. As to why Jared joined SOEE, Jared said, “I felt that taking part in this experience was critical to understanding and solving the challenges around homelessness.”

After his initial Sleep Out experience, we were curious as to why Jared decided to join the Cabinet. “I want to inspire others to see homelessness and addiction as issues that can be solved if enough people continue to talk about them and make meaningful contributions to solve them.”

Jared was moved during the panel portion of last year’s Sleep Out where a young refugee shared her story about having to leave her homeland. She came to Vancouver with no place to call home and no plan as to how she was going to survive. When she walked through the doors at CHV, she felt like she was home. She now has her independence and is building a new life for herself. Jared found that story to be very compelling.

“It’s easy to go home each night, close our doors and forget the struggles of the world outside. Participating in the Sleep Out event reminds us that the world outside doesn’t hit pause when we are safe and warm in our own homes.”

Jared feels that organizations like CHV are important in communities because modern life is extremely busy and sometimes, we become disconnected from our immediate neighbours and forget the challenges they face. “CHV, and organizations like them, create communal hubs that build support networks. These networks are often the backbone of our communities. I think now more than ever they are critical to teach empathy and understanding.”

Jared encourages other business leaders in the community to get involved in Sleep Out and proposes this friendly challenge: “I don’t think there is a single business leader in our city that can deny homelessness is a worsening issue. There are so many successful local businesses that have bred great corporate cultures in Vancouver. I would challenge them to see the benefit of leading their respective teams to do more for the community that they rely on.”

Jared understands the frustration that many people feel, when it comes to homelessness, but Jared encourages everyone to pull together, as he feels that showing empathy and coming together as a community to support each other is what needs to happen. “It’s easy to feel that homelessness and addiction are losing battles, as the numbers continue to rise. The issues become more visible every day. Vancouver is not the source of the problem, rather it is a haven for anyone struggling to make ends meet or fight their battle with addiction. There are more services in our city than any other community in the country. Without organizations like Covenant House, these issues would be in every city, and they would grow far beyond what they are today. I hope people reading this post will be inspired to get involved and carry on the conversation. Compassion is a powerful force for change.”

Thank you, Jared, for your amazing support and advocacy for Sleep Out!

There are many ways that you can participate in Sleep Out:

No matter how you choose to participate, you are showing young people in your community that you care. Thank you.