Covenant House Sleep Out on November 21st/22nd
Rallies Community Leaders in Support of Homeless & At-Risk Youth
On November 21st, 230 business & community leaders Slept Out on the street in solidarity with 4.2 million homeless kids nationwide, giving up the comforts of home for one night to show their support and raise awareness.
Spending the night on the curb with only a sleeping bag and cardboard box, sleepers “sent a message to runaway and homeless kids: we stand with them, celebrate their courage & resiliency, and support their promise & dreams,” said Jim Kelly, Executive Director.
Covenant House provides a safe haven for homeless & at-risk youth (ages 22 and under), with services including: food, shelter, clothing, medical care, educational & vocational support, individual & family counseling, job readiness & placement, short & long-term housing, and bus tickets home. Over the past eight years, the number of youth & children in our care has grown from 45 to 164 kids per night.
Co-chairs Thomas Morstead & Katie Harvill planned a memorable program, enabling sleepers to interact with Covenant House youth and alumni while offering support, guidance, and encouragement. “As usual, the Sleep Out was a night full of meaning and inspiration,” said Harvill. “Supporting Covenant House was an easy choice; the work they do for homeless youth is incredible,” added Morstead.
Gulf Coast Bank & Trust, Allstate, and Morstead’s What You Give Will Grow Foundation – along with a host of others – were major sponsors, helping Covenant House raise a record-breaking $620,000. Committed sleepers ranged in age from 25 to 84 and represented a cross section of the community. More information is available at http://neworleans.thesleepout.org.
SCHEDULE: From 7:30pm-11pm, our sleepers joined Covenant House youth & staff and engaged in frank “roundtable” discussions exploring the issues of abuse, homelessness, addiction, violence, and trauma. From 11pm-6am, our sleepers were given a sleeping bag, a cardboard box, and a place along Rampart Street to rest their heads for the night.