Sleep Out: Champions Edition raises over $383,00.00

The morning after Sleep Out: Champions Edition and the air is still buzzing with the energy of solidarity and purpose that filled the night. Professionals, companies, teams, and individuals came together, and gave up their beds for one night, all for one purpose: to ensure that young people experiencing homelessness and exiting human trafficking find the support they need at Covenant House Vancouver

In a remarkable show of generosity and commitment, our champions and their communities not only raised critical funds but also amplified the pressing issue of youth homelessness. A heartfelt thank you goes out to our matching donors, Vancouver International Airport, whose $50,000 contribution was instrumental in our fundraising efforts. 

Throughout the night, participants had the chance to explore our facilities and engage in breakout sessions, to gain insights into the comprehensive support system that we provide. From meeting immediate needs like food and shelter to offering wraparound services such as medical care, counselling, and assistance for those exiting human trafficking, Covenant House Vancouver is dedicated to whole-person, holistic care for anyone aged 16-24 who needs support.

A highlight of the evening was the opportunity to hear from both our program staff and the young people whose lives had been touched by Covenant House Vancouver. The youth spoke eloquently about our continuum of care, where staff met them wherever they were are at, to support and encourage them with their goals and dreams. The young people on stage shared their stories of what brought them to Covenant House Vancouver, including some of the traumas they faced, and they collectively spoke about how Covenant House Vancouver helped them realize their worth and that they were all, in fact, deserving of happy and bright futures. One of the youth panelists shared “Covenant House Vancouver is a dream keeper — on the street, you cannot think about dreaming because you have to think about survival day to day. Covenant House accepted and nourished me so that I can actually dream.” Staff reflected about the privilege and honour that they have to be a part of these young people’s lives every day, and to bear witness to their journeys and observe their incredible resilience and strength. One of the youth workers shared that to watch these youth grow and learn, to dream big, and to advocate for themselves is what brings him such joy and satisfaction in his work.

The stories shared by the youth underscored the vital importance of finding a place of hope, healing, and second chances. One young person beautifully expressed, “I was so convinced and so determined and hopeless and willing to die that I realized if I can be so determined for there to be nothing that there’s so much room for there to be everything.” Their words resonated deeply with everyone present, and reminded us of the profound impact of our collective efforts. 

As the night gave way to morning, our champions came together to reflect on their experiences. Emotions ran high as they shared their reflections and realizations. One participant broke out in tears as she shared her reflection of sleeping outside for the night. Being out there really triggered her, because she too, was once a homeless youth. Looking around outside, she shared that in that moment she felt gratitude for being in the privileged position that she’s in today. As one participant aptly put it, It’s a really humbling experience for sure. I think an experience that we don’t really get to talk about. Last year, after I left Sleep Out, I got to go home. I got to take a shower, I got to take a nap before I went to work. My back hurt. I could not concentrate. I felt very bothered all day. And that’s just only one night, right? And for these youth, it’s every single day.”

The morning after Sleep Out is a testament to the resilience of youth facing homelessness. It reaffirms our belief that no young person should ever be without a safe place to call home. To our sleepers, we extend our deepest gratitude for your unwavering advocacy and commitment to making a difference in the lives of young people. 

Fundraising pages will be open until March 30th, so if you’d still like to make a donation and positively impact lives of the youth we serve, visit us here. 

Sleep Out has evolved into a movement—a movement of hope, compassion, and advocacy. Together, we pledge to continue our work, to ensure that every young person in need finds a safe space to heal, grow, and thrive.