Last night, 64 young professionals and emerging leaders slept outside in solidarity with the hundreds of young people who call Vancouver’s streets home, to raise funds for youth who struggle with mental illness and addictions. The top fundraiser, Adam Spear, President, Humble Manufacturing Co. Ltd, raised $13,850. The Sleep Out is first and foremost a peer-to-peer fundraising event but it is also an opportunity for people to get a glimpse into what it is like for homeless youth – alone with no where to sleep and no place to call home.
Notable participants included:
- Brittney Martin, a former Covenant House resident
- Six employees of the Vancouver Whitecaps including player Russell Teibert
- Vancouver City Councillor Melissa De Genova
- Sarah Bess Miller, Competitor, Big Brother Canada 2
- Herb Eibensteiner, Director, Finance and Operations, Covenant House
- Dan Mangan, Two-time Juno Award winning musician
Several corporate teams also took part and the top three and their totals were:
Allan Financial: $24,499
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: $21,428
Fusion Projects: $20,660
The evening began with the participants getting to know each other and touring our female Crisis Program and Drop-In Centre. A panel consisting of Covenant House youth and staff shared their knowledge and experience about homelessness, mental illness and addictions. The young people on our panel also shared their personal stories and explained how they found their way to our doors, and how their lives have changed since.
After waking up this morning (many didn’t get much sleep), the participants took part in a group reflection exercise, describing what the experience meant to them. Several people used the words “humbled” and “gratitude” when reflecting on the evening. The majority of participants were going off to work for the day and many said they couldn’t imagine doing that day after day having had such unrestful sleep – the realization that this is the reality for many of our youth was eye-opening.
Our heartfelt thanks to all of our sleepers and their supporters! We hope to see you all back next year!
There is still time to support the Sleep Out: Young Professionals - click here to donate.