Metro Detroit business leaders will once again come together Nov. 19 to spend the night outside in solidarity in an effort to raise funds and bring attention to the plight of homeless youth in Detroit and across the nation in the Sleep Out: Executive Edition.
Now in its second year, the sleep out is part of a nationwide event taking place that night in 16 cities at Covenant House sites across North America. From Anchorage to New York, men and women from the business community will come together to raise awareness and funds to support Covenant House’s work helping young people leave the streets and begin new lives.
“Last year’s Sleep Out was tremendously impactful for the participants who personally experienced homelessness for themselves on one of the coldest nights of the year, “says Gerry Piro, executive director of Covenant House Michigan. “Their support and empathy for the 5,000 young people in metro Detroit who have no place to call home was profoundly inspiring.”
At the inaugural Detroit Sleep Out, 43 individuals headed outside in single-digit temperatures wearing coats that transformed into sleeping bags, provided by the Empowerment Plan, and assembled cardboard to serve as their beds. They lay on the basketball court overlooking CHM’s Rights of Passage and Caritas buildings where 70 formerly homeless young people were inside. Together, they raised more than $211,000, more than doubling its $100,000 goal, to continue the work of CHM.
The Detroit Auto Dealers Association and Delta Air return as sponsors and, new this year, Two Men and a Truck. CHM’s goal for this year’s Sleep Out is 100 sleepers and $500,000.
CHM’s Sleep Out coincides with the organization’s 18th annual Candlelight Vigil Against Homelessness at the CHM campus (2959 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Detroit), and is an opportunity for the community to stand together with CHM to shed light on youth homelessness. The vigil, which is open to the public, begins at 6 p.m.
Last year, more than 900 business leaders in the U.S. and Canada spent one night on the street during the Covenant House Nationwide Sleep Out, collectively raising more than $5 million to support the organization’s life-saving programs for homeless youth.