Thank you for choosing to work with a group of students to make an impact on your community. This program was designed specifically for young adults and there is no aspect of the program that cannot be prepared or managed by students, but we have found that administrator supervision in the following areas makes the planning process easier and safer:
Safety is a priority! Once your group has decided to hold a Sleep Out, make sure the rules and regulations of your organization or school are followed. If it's unsafe for you to sleep outside for any reason - including weather, because you're in a big city, or because your school/group doesn't have a yard or field - it's perfectly fine to sleep indoors. The idea of the Sleep Out is that you learn what it's like to not be able to go home to your own bed and to understand some of the discomforts that homeless kids experience.
In the past, we have had groups sleeping in recreational centers, hallways, classrooms, gyms, rooftops, and even basements - if you're struggling to come up with a good option, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll help you with ideas.
To sign your group up, register and create a team page. Include your school or organization in your team name so that donors and team members can easily find it. After the team page is set up, encourage your students or club members to register, join the team, and begin fundraising and raising awareness.
Help secure building access after hours, lighting overnight, bathroom access and trash removal. Also consider what items you need on-site: tables, chairs, microphones, speakers, projector, megaphone, etc.
Students often need support procuring food and beverage for the event. If these items are not donated and there is no room in the budget for refreshments, we suggest having students pack their own brown bag meals.
Venues and organizers often require signed waivers from each participant. If the event includes participants under the age of 18, parental consent forms may also be needed. Have all waivers and consent forms on record and on hand at the event, including emergency contact information. You can print the waiver from your Participant Center after you register.
A Sleep Out is a long event! Request support from staff or family members of the participants to volunteer at the event and to help you cover supervision throughout the night.