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Leveraging the Power of Sleep Out

November 16th, business leaders, board members, CEOs, and executives are joining forces to stand in solidarity with homeless youth and will give up their beds for one night so that youth can find theirs at Covenant House Vancouver.  

This event raises awareness and critical funds to help vulnerable youth have access to programs and services at Covenant House Vancouver, like seeking safe shelter, nourishing food, clean clothing, and essential services like job training, education, healthcare, and mental health counselling—tools needed for youth to build independent, sustainable futures for themselves. 

Sleep Out participants and donors help support youth on their journeys, by enabling us to provide 24/7 care for every young person who walks through our doors.    

Sleep Out Executive Cabinet: Meet Kevin Takahashi 

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. 

Ten years ago, Kevin Takahashi found out about Sleep Out through his involvement in volunteer work with Covenant House Vancouver. This year marks his 10th anniversary of participating in this unique event. When asked why he supports Sleep Out, Kevin shared “They [Covenant House Vancouver] provide more than just shelter to those most vulnerable. They help youth gain the confidence, skills, and knowledge to move forward in life, when they wouldn’t necessarily have that chance. Above all, they provide unconditional love and support to many who have never had it before.” 

Kevin’s commitment to the cause led him to join the Sleep Out Cabinet this year. His goal is to expand Sleep Out’s reach within the business community and bring in new participants who haven’t experienced it before. 

The Significance of Sleep Out 

One memory from Sleep Out stands out vividly for Kevin. On one occasion, it started raining around midnight, and he had fallen asleep. The sound of rain around him woke him up, disorienting him momentarily. 

“In that fleeting moment, I felt a wave of vulnerability and panic come over me until I realized where I was and what I was doing. This feeling is likely something felt by every homeless youth (or homeless person for that matter), on a nightly basis, and is not something I will ever forget.” Said Kevin. This brief and vulnerable moment serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of the cause. 

To Kevin, Sleep Out is more than just an event or fundraiser. It serves as a powerful tool for raising awareness about homelessness and at-risk youth. Participants feel the discomfort and vulnerability of choosing to sleep outside, which provides them with valuable insight into the challenges many young people without a roof, safety, or support, endure, night after night. 

A Call to Action 

Kevin Takahashi’s journey with Sleep Out and his involvement with Covenant House Vancouver reflect the importance of taking action to address homelessness and support at-risk youth in our community. Kevin explains why he believes that ending youth homelessness is everyone’s responsibility and why everyone should support the cause. 

“Homelessness affects us all. If we can get ahead of it and support youth who should be focused on hanging out with friends and high school instead of focusing on where they will be safe, sleeping each night, our community will be stronger.” 

It’s a reminder that small steps can lead to significant changes, and that every individual can play a part in creating a brighter future for those in need. 

Thank you, Kevin, for sharing your perspectives and being such a valued ambassador for Sleep Out and for the youth that we support at Covenant House Vancouver. Your advocacy and commitment are immeasurable. 

There is still time for you to get involved! You can donate to a team, you can donate to Sleep Out directly, and you be an advocate and spread awareness by sharing this blog post and our Sleep Out social media posts in your network. 

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