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Sleep Out Invitation
Did you know that 4.2 million young people face homelessness each year? Youth homelessness was a crisis even before the pandemic, and it continues to be a growing issue. The good news? We can help. I am giving up my bed for one night so that youth experiencing homelessness can sleep safely at Covenant House, an organization that provides shelter and essential services to young people in need. Will you join me? We will Sleep Out...INSERT SLEEP OUT DETAILS....
Together, we can raise urgently-needed funds for Covenant House, where they're serving more meals than ever before, raise awareness about the growing number of youth facing homelessness, and ensure that these young people are not forgotten or ignored in this challenging time.
Here's the link to sign up and join my Sleep Out team: INSERT TEAM URL
Donation Appeal - Short
The COVID-19 crisis turned the world upside down for many of us. Lost jobs, isolation, and the loss of friends and family was 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 kept 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 on behalf of young people overcoming homelessness at Covenant House.
I am 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... 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. As part of my Sleep Out, I get to hear from front-line staff at Covenant House who work 24/7 throughout the pandemic and beyond to keep young people safe, healthy, and sheltered, as well as from alumni who have overcome homelessness. It is helping me understand why young people become homeless, the challenges, they face, and what we can do to ensure that everyone deserves a safe place to sleep.
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 urgent challenges they're facing, helping young people get back on their feet as we come out of the pandemic.
If you can, please consider making a donation of any size in honor of the incredibly resilient young people at Covenant House. 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. Over the past year, these young people felt the impact of COVID-19 and the Sleep Out has taken on a whole new meaning.
That is why I have re-committed to 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 were among its most vulnerable victims. Covenant House remained open 24/7, adapting to be able to provide more meals than ever before to the young people sheltering in place and to help the 80% of youth who lost their jobs regain employment.
These have been trying times for all of us. The uncertainty and anxiety that we all felt is something that youth who experience 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.
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 Sleep Out. These funds go directly to Covenant House, whose doors remained open 24/7 throughout the pandemic to provide shelter and loving care to youth facing homelessness. Now, front-line staff are working to help young people regain employment, access healthcare, and rebuild their lives.
If you're able, please consider making a donation to my Sleep Out page. Your support means so much to the young people and staff at Covenant House, no matter the amount. Because it’s more than what the money provides — it’s a symbol that you care. INSERT PERSONAL URL
Thank You Notes
Thank you so much for your donation in support of my Sleep Out. After a year 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.
Thank you for your generous donation in support of my Sleep Out. As you know, I am giving up my bed for one night 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 was revised early in the pandemic with help from the CDC and we remain prepared to assess and/or test symptomatic youth.
- The youth in our care are safe and secure. In addition to establishing quarantine spaces, there continues to be a safe distance between beds in all rooms, a high-frequency disinfecting of common areas, and cleaning supplies available to youth and staff.
- We have temporarily suspended all visitors and non-essential staff on-site, and emergency staffing protocols are in place to ensure front-line coverage while keeping our teams safe. We will continue to monitor the situation and are eager to welcome back visitors as soon as it is safe. Please check with your local Covenant House for the most recent restrictions.
- On-site youth programming is operational, as is additional mental health programming for youth experiencing anxiety as a consequence of the outbreak.
- Food and staffing costs remain high, since many youth are in our building 24/7, working or going to school remotely. These costs are in addition to the staffing and supplies costs associated with the extensive emergency preparedness measures described above.
Racism & Youth Homelessness
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.
When this trauma is triggered by acts of racism or 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 Latine 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.
LGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness
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.
What Your Donation Does
How the funds you raise keep youth safe:
$20: Covenant House staff continue to be on the front lines of the pandemic, 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, as young people continue to seek safe shelter. $30 will provide a box of linens so all our beds can stay clean, welcoming, and germ-free.
$50: With many schools still closed and some jobs remote, Covenant House must fill the enormous gap in where young people are getting their meals. $50 will provide nutritious food to five young people in our care for an entire day.
$100: The pandemic drastically increased our need for medical supplies. A gift of $100 provides two days of medical supplies for our healthcare teams who work tirelessly to care for young people who have no one else.
$250: At the same time that our shelters are filled to capacity, we needed to set up safe isolation places for sick/symptomatic youth in our care. Raising $250 provides two clean, safe isolation places for our youth.
$500: All across the Americas, formerly homeless youth have worked hard to achieve independence, but many lost their jobs over the course of the pandemic. $500 will provide 10 food baskets to help youth through these unprecedented times.
$1,000: Our front line staff have been working 12-hour shifts, many of them six days a week during the pandemic. 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 personnel costs.