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Sleeping on the Streets for Homeless at Risk Youth

Posted on December 11, 2019 by Nigel Bennett  |  21 Views

November 21st was my 4th time sleeping in an alleyway on the streets in support of our at risk youth. I am very proud to say with the support of my 200+ donors I was able to raise over $21,000 and our 55 participants collectively raised over $1,171,000 for Covenant House Vancouver’s Youth Crisis Program.

The evening began with two current Covenant House youth and a former youth participated in a panel discussion they shared their shocking stories and the circumstances that led to their homelessness.

One youth shared how Covenant House had helped, "In every palpable way. When I first came I had been struggling with homelessness for 2 years. I didn’t think I'd ever be able to hold down a job. I got help with my mental health. I got to the point when I can hold down a steady job. I'm doing to school now. I never thought I would be able to do that. I'm finally seeing some sort of potential in my life.”

It was a chilly night laying on a piece of cardboard in a thin sleeping bag as the temperatures got down to 2 degrees above freezing. I must say that I thought that this year would be easier but it never gets easy. The night sounds of the city (sirens, yelling and the scampering of the occasional rat past your head). Made sleep almost impossible. At least this year I was dry unlike a previous sleep out.

In the morning, we took part in a group reflection exercise, describing what the experience meant to all of us. For me I couldn’t imagine having to do this night after night. I was a mess, unable to concentrate with very little sleep. Surviving like this would be a living hell. For me it was tough but I cant imaging being a scared, lonely youth with perhaps mental or addiction issues constantly trying to keep one step ahead of the next predator.

Words cannot express my gratitude to everyone that gave, You have helped Covenant House and so many youth on their path to healing and regaining a normal life.

You can still give to my account until Dec 31st at the link below:

https://secure3.convio.net/chb/site/TR?px=1023592&fr_id=1260&pg=personal

Thanks so much and have a great holiday season!
Nigel

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