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Nigel Bennett: A Guiding Light in the Fight Against Youth Homelessness 

In a world often plagued by challenges, it’s individuals like Nigel Bennett who stand as guideposts of hope, dedicated to making a tangible difference in the lives of those who need it most. As the esteemed Chair of the Sleep Out: Champions Edition Cabinet, Nigel has been instrumental in shaping a movement that seeks to shed light on the pervasive issue of youth homelessness, as he advocates tirelessly for a better future. 

Since 2015, Nigel has been a driving force behind the Sleep Out movement, channelling his passion into advocating for the homeless and vulnerable youth within our community. But for the Bennett family, their commitment to this cause extends beyond mere participation—it’s a deeply ingrained family affair. Nigel and his equally passionate wife, Rieko, are not just advocates; they are active participants in this year’s Sleep Out: Champions Edition. Rieko, a seasoned participant in various Sleep Out events, has passed on the torch of compassion to their children, who have taken part in the Sleep Out: Home Edition. 

The dedication doesn’t stop there. Nigel’s sister, Susan Willis, and her husband, Garry Willis, have joined forces with Team Impact (Nigel’s Sleep Out team), to contribute their energy and commitment to the Champions Edition cause. It’s a collective effort that echoes the Bennett family’s unwavering commitment to support Covenant House, an organization at the forefront of the battle against youth homelessness. 

What sets Nigel apart is not just his official role but his genuine care and constant thoughts for the young people at Covenant House Vancouver. His passion for the cause permeates every aspect of his life, which makes a profound impact on his family and the wider community. Nigel’s involvement has become a source of inspiration, a reminder that the power to affect change lies within the hands of individuals who are dedicated to making a positive impact on the world. 

Join us as we dive deeper into Nigel Bennett’s journey, and explore the motivations that drive him and the ripple effect of his involvement in the Sleep Out: Champions Edition. Together, let’s uncover the stories of resilience, hope, and transformation that define the fight against youth homelessness—one person, one family, and one community at a time. 

In this Q&A-style interview, Nigel shares his personal experiences, motivations, and insights into the transformative power of Sleep Out. 

Q: How did you find out about Sleep Out?  
Nigel: Back in 2015, a friend challenged me to Sleep Out, and I haven’t missed one since. 

Q: Why did you join Sleep Out?  
Nigel: I’ve always loved getting involved and giving of myself, so it is the perfect event for me. 

Q: Can you share a memory from a Sleep Out?  
Nigel: I didn’t realize how difficult the days following Sleep Out would be on me and I can’t imagine being a homeless youth and how difficult it must be living on the street. 

I am always astonished at how well spoken, motivated, and genuinely thankful the youth are for everything that Covenant House Vancouver has been able to do for them.  

Q: Why did you join the Sleep Out Cabinet?  
Nigel: I have been involved with Sleep Out for quite a few years and by joining the Cabinet, I can share my experiences with more people, encouraging them to join us in.  

Q: Why is the Sleep Out event important?  
Nigel: The Sleep Out event is extremely important to get a glimpse into the hardships of being a homeless youth. I have found that when we experience things firsthand, we can really appreciate how important Covenant House Vancouver is for our community. 

Q: Why are organizations like Covenant House important?  
Nigel: I have been fortunate enough to have been involved with several non-profits and Covenant House Vancouver is by far the best organized and operated non-profit I’ve been involved with. Their impact on the community is unmatched. 

Q: Why should other business leaders get involved?  
Nigel: It’s our responsibility as business leaders to give back to the community, especially by giving of ourselves. 

Q: Anything else to share with the readers?  
Nigel: Volunteering for Covenant House since 2015 has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Come join us! 

Nigel’s journey with Sleep Out: Champions Edition exemplifies the power of personal commitment and community engagement. As he encourages others to join this meaningful cause, his story inspires us to make a difference in the lives of homeless and vulnerable youth. If Nigel’s experience resonates with you, consider participating in Sleep Out and becoming part of the positive change for our community. To donate directly to Nigel’s team, visit their Team Impact page here