Covenant House Illinois Prepares for Inaugural Sleep Out

The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless reports that each night, approximately 1,800 – 3,000 unaccompanied youth are homeless in Chicago. To serve this exceptionally vulnerable population, there are only 375 units of housing, collectively, for homeless youth in the City.  

On Thursday, November 16th at 7:00 p.m., we invite local celebrities, business leaders and young professionals to Sleep Out at St. James Commons (65 E Huron Street) in solidarity with Chicago’s homeless youth as part of our inaugural Sleep Out in downtown Chicago.

Sleep Out is a nationwide campaign that will take place at nineteen Covenant House sites throughout North America. With the support of friends, family, and colleagues, Sleepers will raise funds that serve a vital role in offering critical services to at-risk and homeless youth, including daily meals, physical and mental health care, workforce training, and case management.  Over the course of the last 10 years, Covenant House Sleep Out events have raised over $36 million and have included celebrity participants such as Robin Roberts (CH New York) and Nikki Sixx (CH California).

Our Sleepers know that one night can have an incredible impact for our mission. They know that it will be uncomfortable. They know that it will be cold. And they know that it will be dark. Still, they have chosen to give up the comforts and security of home for one night, knowing that - by doing so - they will bring hope, warmth, and light to the young people who need it most.

“What began as a one-night event in New York has grown into an international movement. Sleep Out is our chance to say to homeless youth ‘We see you, we support you, and we stand alongside you in this fight.”, says Joseph Mole, Executive Director.

This year’s Sleep Out will begin with a light meal and includes programming to highlight issues facing homeless youth in Chicago and the work being done to eradicate homelessness. Roundtable and panel discussions will take place to expand the engagement between Sleepers and members of the CHIL community.  At the end of the evening, Sleepers will be given a cardboard box and sleeping bag and head outdoors to brave the Chicago cold for one night. Security and staff will be on-site throughout the night to ensure participant safety.  The Sleep Out concludes on Friday, Nov. 17th at 7:00 a.m. with a light breakfast, group reflection, and open discussion.

For more information, or to support our inaugural Sleep Out, visit CHIL's Sleep Out page here.

One night can make a difference.

Christopher Montiel