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- Sleep Out Invitations
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- LGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness
When COVID-19 hit and the shelter in place order came, young people facing homelessness turned to Covenant House for shelter and safety. Covenant House remained open 24/7, welcoming and working to ensure the health and safety of each young person. Housing is healthcare, which is why I have decided to stay in and Sleep Out. I will give up my bed for one night to raise urgently-needed funds for Covenant House, where they're serving more meals than ever before, and raise awareness about the growing number of youth facing homelessness. Anyone, anywhere can Sleep Out, and I am hoping that you will join me (even if it's virtually). By coming together, we can ensure that young people are not forgotten or ignored in this uncertain time. Here's the link to sign up and join my team: INSERT TEAM URL
Donation Appeal - Short
The COVID-19 crisis has turned the world upside down for many of us. Lost jobs, isolation, and the loss of friends and family are incredibly difficult to deal with — but what if on top of all of that, you didn’t have a safe place to sleep? Covenant House keeps their doors open 24/7 to keep youth facing homelessness safe during these scary and trying times. For one night, I’m giving up my bed so youth can find a safe place to sleep under a Covenant House roof. If you can, please consider supporting me with a donation of any amount today. INSERT PERSONAL URL
Donation Appeal - Long
I signed on to Sleep Out —virtually —on behalf of young people overcoming homelessness at Covenant House.
What does that mean? Well, on November 19, I will be giving up my bed for the night as a way to raise funds and awareness for the nearly 4.2 million young people who experience homelessness each year. I plan to sleep [INSERT SLEEP OUT LOCATION] and make myself uncomfortable as an act of solidarity with the resilient young people who face and have overcome homelessness.
Sleep Out is not a night of pretend, and it's not a slumber party. I'll be tuning in to a virtual Sleep Out program to hear from front-line staff at Covenant House who have worked 24/7 throughout the pandemic to keep young people safe, healthy, and sheltered. Alumni of Covenant House will also join to share their stories, and I'll have the chance to join conversations about why young people become homeless, the challenges, they face, and what we can do to be better advocates and realize the belief that everyone deserves a safe place to sleep.
There is so much that feels uncertain and out of our control these days. Sleep Out is how I have chosen to take action and help make the world a better place. In addition to sheltering and feeding young people, Covenant House's mission is to ensure that all youth has a safe place to turn where they feel loved and respected. And they need our help to meet the growing, urgent challenges that they're now facing.
If you can, please consider making a donation of any size in honor of the incredibly resilient young people at Covenant House. The beds are full, and your gift will be put to work immediately to help establish quarantine zones, provide clean linens and three nutritious meals a day for the increased number of youth, and arm front-line staff with critical cleaning and medical supplies.
Here is the link to my Sleep Out page: INSERT PERSONAL URL
Thank you so much.
Donation Appeal - Return Participants
Now is the time of year when I write to you all about my Sleep Out to support youth overcoming homelessness at Covenant House. But this year, Covenant House is bracing for the effects of COVID-19 and the Sleep Out has taken on a whole new meaning.
Now more than ever, housing is healthcare. That's why I am still giving up my bed for a night in solidarity with the 2,000+ young people sleeping at Covenant House each night. These young people faced incredible challenges before the pandemic and now are among its most vulnerable victims. Covenant House remains open 24/7 and has established quarantine spaces for youth exhibiting symptoms, created a new intake process with help from the CDC, doubled down on cleaning, moved beds to be a minimum of six feet apart, established an emergency staffing protocol, and adapted to be able to provide more meals than ever before to the young people -- more than 80% of whom have lost their jobs -- who are sheltering in place. On the night of the Sleep Out, I'll join a virtual program to hear directly from many of these front-line staff, as well as Covenant House alumni, and learn how to be an effective advocate to end youth homelessness.
I know that these are trying times for all of us. The uncertainty and anxiety that we all feel is something that youth who have experienced homelessness are all too familiar with. If you're able, please consider making a donation of any size to my Sleep Out. Your gift will be put to work immediately to ensure these youth stay safe and healthy during this crisis and after.
Here is the link to my Sleep Out page: INSERT PERSONAL URL
Donation Appeal - Reminder
In X DAYS, I am giving up my bed for a night so that young people facing homelessness can sleep safely at Covenant House.
I’m trying to raise $X AMOUNT REMAINING before my virtual Sleep Out. These funds are critically important now more than ever, as Covenant House continues to shelter and protect young people facing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I know that this is a difficult time for everyone, and so much is out of our control. But it has also been a time of people coming together —however they can — to offer comfort and support. If you're able, please consider making a donation to my Sleep Out page. Your support will be an incredible comfort to the young people and staff at Covenant House. No matter the amount, the value of it to these kids who have so little is enormous. Because it’s more than what the money provides — it’s a symbol that you care. INSERT PERSONAL URL
Thank you so much for your donation in support of my virtual Sleep Out. In this time of uncertainty and anxiety, your gift means that much more — to me, and to the youth and staff at Covenant House.
Covenant House will continue to be open 24/7 for young people facing homelessness. Your gift helps their staff protect and care for every kid who walks through the doors, to keep them healthy, and to meet the many challenges they face. Thank you.
I hope that you stay healthy and safe as well, and know how grateful I am for your support.
I am giving up my bed on November 19 so that a young person can sleep safely at Covenant House. But young people will find more than shelter there. Covenant House offers young people sanctuary, and a continuum of care that is guided and defined by the principles of absolute respect and unconditional love: staff see young people the way they deserve to be seen, not as the label they’ve come with, and commit to a relentless relationship, to a covenant of support and care. Thank you for supporting this critical mission.
- Our doors remain open. Last night, over 2,100 young people found safety under a Covenant House roof. Our intake protocol has been revised with help from the CDC and we are prepared to assess and/or test symptomatic youth as a first action before sending them to the local ER. Quarantine spaces have also been established at every shelter.
- We are focused on ensuring that the youth in our care are safe and secure. In addition to quarantine spaces, we are ensuring a safe distance between beds in all rooms, increasing the frequency of disinfecting common areas, and distributing cleaning and hygiene supplies to youth and staff regularly.
- We have temporarily suspended all visitors and non-essential staff on-site, and an emergency staffing protocol is in place to ensure front-line coverage while keeping our teams safe.
- We are providing as much on-site youth programming as possible, including additional mental health programming for youth experiencing anxiety as a consequence of the outbreak.
- With youth sheltering place, we are seeing increased costs in food and staffing since all youth are in our building 24/7 — these costs are in addition to the staffing and supplies costs associated with the extensive emergency preparedness measures described above.
How the funds you raise keep youth safe:
$20: Our Covenant House staff are on the front lines keeping our young people safe during this unprecedented crisis. We need to keep staff healthy so they can continue their quietly heroic work with our kids. A $20 gift now will provide a box of masks or gloves for our teams working with sick/symptomatic youth.
$30: Our beds are full, and we are setting up cots for all the kids who have no place to go during this coronavirus emergency. We are taking every precaution to keep our young people safe and protected. $30 will provide a box of linens so all our beds can stay germ-free.
$50: Many of the young people in our care were getting meals at the high schools and colleges they were attending. With schools all closed, Covenant House must fill this enormous gap. $50 will provide nutritious food to five young people in our care for an entire day.
$100: The coronavirus has drastically increased our need for medical supplies. A gift of $100 will provide two days of emergency medical supplies for our healthcare teams who are working tirelessly to care for young people who have no one else.
$250: At the same time that our shelters are filled to capacity during the coronavirus crisis, we need to set up safe isolation places for sick/symptomatic youth in our care. Raising $250 will provide two clean, safe isolation places for our kids.
$500: All across the Americas, formerly homeless youth have worked hard to acheive independence. Many have now lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak. $500 will provide 10 food baskets to help youth through these unprecedented times.
$1,000: Our front line staff is working 12-hour shifts, many of them six days a week, during this crisis. With great spirit and unconditional love, they risk their own health to protect our kids and surround them with support in uncertain times. By raising $1,000, you can stand with our quiet heroes in spirit and provide one week of emergency personnel costs.
Between disparities in healthcare — 23% of people who have passed away because of COVID-19 have been Black — incarceration — Black Americans are incarcerated at more than 5x the rate of whites — education — Black young men have the lowest graduation rate of any population in the country — and of course police brutality — Black people are 3x more likely to be killed by the police than white people — the statistics are jarring. And they are the reality for many of the youth living at Covenant House, more than 60% of whom are Black.
Racism is a trauma that negatively impacts a young person’s sense of self-worth, abilities, and potential. During adolescence, it’s especially important that we act as allies to foster their resilience, confidence, and agency. This is why Covenant House staff treat every young person with absolute respect and always have unconditional love to give.
In times like these when this trauma is triggered by acts of racism and a global health crisis, Covenant House staff are focused on meeting each young person where they’re at, wrapping them with love, and upholding the promise of stability and sanctuary. Young people like Lajada, who needed a way to channel her outrage and indignation over police violence. Read her story.
Did you know that two-thirds of Black and Latinx youth attend segregated schools that often have lower budgets? This impacts class sizes, teacher qualifications, and the availability of instructional resources. Learn more about how systemic racism contributes to youth homelessness in America.
Racism is literally making youth sick, leaving them with toxic levels of stress that negatively affect their mental health and emotional development. Learn how systemic racism contributes to youth homelessness and health in America.
Did you know that LGBTQ youth comprise 40% of all youth experiencing homelessness, while only making up 7% of the total youth population in the U.S.? While facing homelessness, LGBTQ youth are also more likely to experience hardships such as assault, trauma, exchanging sex for basic needs, and early death. Covenant House provides a welcoming and affirming environment for LGBTQ and all youth.
When LGBTQ youth experience homelessness, many seek shelter and services in ways that put them at more risk of discrimination and abuse. Covenant House sites are welcoming, affirming, and safe spaces for LGBTQ youth and all youth experiencing homelessness.