Everything you need to know about the Sleep Out

Please note: on-site registration is currently closed (you may still register as a virtual participant). Only registered ON-SITE sleepers are permitted to attend in-person. No one will be allowed entry into Congo Square without a wristband from Covenant House staff.

Schedule: November 19th, 2020
7:30pm - Register & proceed to Congo Square in Armstrong Park
8:20pm - Libations with Rev. Denise L. Graves of the Congo Square Preservation Society*
8:30pm - Testimonials, presentations, keynotes (virtual program begins)
10:00pm - Onsite sleepers exit Congo Square for cardboard beds
10:20pm - Small group reflections (online groups)
11:00pm - Sleep Out / Sleep In
6:00am - Light breakfast & departure for onsite sleepers

*Learn more about the historical & cultural significance of Congo Square here.

Location: Covenant House New Orleans
611 N. Rampart Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

Event Coordinator: Rich Arnold | Jim Kelly
Phone: 504-584-1141 | 504-584-1102
Email: [email protected] | [email protected]

Click here to view our Event Brochure
Click here to view our Sponsors Brochure

Covid-19 Pandemic Precautions

This year’s event will not look the same; but the urgency has never been greater. The funds raised by our sleepers will help ensure that no child is turned away during this time of extraordinary crisis.

The safety of our youth and sleepers is our #1 priority. Those who participate virtually will be included in all aspects of our immersive and rewarding program—from the sanctuary of their living rooms or backyards (we encourage you to be creative!) In-person attendees who "Sleep Out" will be required to wear masks at all times and practice proper social distancing.

Please note that fundraising minimums apply for all sleepers - whether participating onsite or virtually. Those "Sleeping In" on their own are welcome to share the experience with others, but all registered sleepers are asked to make the same commitment to raise critical dollars for our youth.

  • Covenant House will pre-align cardboard beds along the sidewalk bordering our campus - spaced a minimum of 6 feet apart.
  • All onsite sleepers, staff, and volunteers will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing.
  • The event will be held entirely outdoors, with monitored access to indoor refreshments & restrooms and significant PPE and sanitizer provided.
  • Additional outdoor tables for food & drink and portable restrooms will be spread out around the Park and campus.
  • Sleepers will be given the option to participate virtually.
  • Covenant House youth will only participate virtually.
  • Signage and ground markings will be placed in the Park to encourage consistent social distancing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible to participate in the Sleep Out?
Participants in the Sleep Out must:

  • Be at least 23 years of age;
  • Be committed to the mission and spirit of this event; and   
  • Raise at least $500 (new sleepers) or $1,000 (returning sleepers) in support of homeless youth, using the online portal provided.

What is expected of each participant?
Sleepers are expected to approach the event with an open heart, an open mind, and a willingness to work hard for something outside of your comfort zone. All participants are required to fundraise before the event, but you’re not on your own. Our team provides a personal webpage and all the coaching, materials, and support you need to help you reach your goal.

I want to Sleep Out. What’s my next step?
Register online to reserve your spot, or contact us at [email protected] or 504-584-1141.

Why do I have to fundraise? And how much do I need to raise?
The Sleep Out is a unique experience that we hope encourages awareness, empathy, and understanding for the immeasurable odds that homeless young people overcome. But while awareness of a problem is important, it isn’t a solution.

We ask Sleep Out participants to raise critical funds that allow Covenant House to offer safety, shelter, and support to homeless young people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  By fundraising, Sleep Out participants become part of the solution for homeless young people. In 2020, you have the option to participate virtually by "Sleeping In" on your own - but all registered sleepers are asked to meet the same fundraising thresholds.

New sleepers are encouraged to set a goal of $1,000 ($500 minimum). Returning sleepers are encouraged to set a goal of $2,000 ($1,000 minimum). We know you can do it - our sleepers raised an average of $3,000 last year! Getting started is as easy as sending an email - and our team is available every step of the way to help.

Will I be safe?
Safety is our first and foremost concern - particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic - whether it is for the young people we serve or for our participants. We pledge that we take all necessary precautions to ensure you are safe at the Sleep Out. We will have four police officers on location from 6:00 pm-7:00 am. 

Can a friend or family member Sleep Out with me?
Yes, so long as they meet the eligibility requirements listed above and register for the event in advance. If you want, you can even create a team page and invite friends, family, and co-workers to join (all attendees must be registered and all participants are asked to meet the same fundraising requirements).

What should I bring?
We suggest you bring weather-appropriate layers of clothing, personal toiletries and medications, and a smartphone (if you use one). Please also bring a sleeping bag from home (we will have extras available). **Please also bring blue-tooth headphones - if you have them!**

What should I leave at home?
Please, no airbeds or mattresses; we will provide cardboard. We recommend that you limit unnecessary valuables for your own piece of mind. We also ask that you refrain from bringing alcohol.

I received some donations in cash and checks. What do I do with them?
You can add cash or check donations to your page through your Participant Dashboard. Once logged into your account, hover over the “Donations” icon in the black menu at the top of your screen and click the option to “Add an Offline Donation.”  Scroll down to find and complete the Offline Donation Form. Once all the information is entered (please be as complete as possible!), click the button to “Add Donation” at the bottom of the form.

Once you have entered the gift, you can either bring the donations with you to the Sleep Out or mail to our office (please include your name and "Sleep Out" in the memo line):

Covenant House New Orleans
Attn: Sleep Out 
611 N. Rampart Street
New Orleans, LA 70112