Everything you need to know about Sleep Out Florida

Date: Thursday, November 19, 2020

Time: 7:00 PM - 7:00 AM 

Location: Virtual

Event Coordinator: Maria Shorkey
Phone: 407-736-9001
Email: [email protected]



Frequently Asked Questions

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

  • Commit to raising awareness about the issue of youth homelessness   
  • Strive to reach the following fundraising goals: $1,000 for first-timers, $2,000 for returning Sleepers, and $5,000 for Executive Level Sleepers,  in support of homeless young people leading up to the event, using the online portal provided

Is this a virtual event?

Yes, this year, due to COVID-19, we are moving to an online platform which is great news for those who have been unable to attend a Sleep Out before due to other commitments or being below the usual minimum age restriction.

Can my children participate this year?

Yes, however we ask that parents of younger children monitor the content and subject matter of the program in order to determine if it is appropriate for their child(ren).

How does a virtual Sleep Out work?

On November 19, registered participants can tune in to a live stream to hear stories of young people overcoming homelessness at Covenant House Florida, front-line staff who have been working overtime to ensure that our doors stay open and our youth stay healthy, and, of course, from other participants. The program will be interactive and include an activity as well as time to engage and ask questions of youth and staff. The full program schedule will be released on this page in advance of the event.

When the program concludes, we ask you to give up your beds for the night. For some, that will mean sleeping on the floor of their living room or kitchen; for others, it might mean taking a sleeping bag to the backyard. Because this Sleep Out is virtual, many participants will invite their family or roommates to Sleep Out with them. You can take additional steps like deciding to shut off your heater or forgo blankets for the night, saying no to pajamas in favor of the jeans you wore that day, or giving up your phone charger.

Our team will also provide a video library, written stories, and additional activities that you can watch, read, or do throughout the night. You can also follow along with your fellow Sleepers on social media using the hashtag #chfsleepout.

Where do I Sleep Out?

You choose your own location (somewhere safe and legal!) and plan a Sleep Out that fits your situation. Many participants Sleep Out in their own backyards and driveways while others Sleep Out in parking lots and grounds of businesses, schools, parks, or places of worship (note: you must get permission to Sleep Out on private property and Covenant House Florida does not provide insurance or take on any liability for your Sleep Out). Wherever you Sleep Out, you can have a meaningful experience using the resources in your virtual Sleep Out toolkit.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you should follow CDC guidelines on social distancing. You can Sleep Out from wherever you are sheltering in place, even if it's your kitchen floor, with the people you are quarantining with or on your own.

Do I need to prepare in advance?

Once you have a place to sleep that’s safe and legal (for example, your backyard or the floor of your kitchen), the level of preparation is up to you. We will share reminders, activities, and videos throughout the night of the Sleep Out, so keep an eye on your email to follow along. You can decide to join the virtual Sleep Out experience at any time.

What is expected of each participant?
We expect participants 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 coaching, materials, and support to help you reach your goal.

I want to Sleep Out. What’s my next step?
Register online to sign up or contact Maria Shorkey at 407-736-9001 or [email protected] 

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 teenagers.

For this event, we ask participants to work towards the following fundraising goals: $1,000 for first-timers, $2,000 for returning Sleepers, and $5,000 for Executive Level Sleepers. We know you can do it - getting started is as easy as sending an email - and our team is available every step of the way to provide the tips, materials, and guidance you need to reach your goal.

How do I access the program on November 19?

Once you are signed up as a sleeper and we get closer to the date, we will send you a link and instructions.

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 (be sure to include your name in a note or the Memo line so we can add the donation to your profile!):

Covenant House Florida Orlando
Attn: Sleep Out Florida
5931 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32807

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