Nov 15, 2021 - News

Sleeping out in solidarity with unhoused youth

Illustration of a homeless person sitting in front of a white picket fence

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Temperatures are expected to drop to the 30s Thursday night, but hundreds of Chicagoans who normally sleep indoors will spend the night outside as part of the 5th annual Sleep Out Chicago.

Why it matters: Chicago has an estimated 3,000 unhoused youth and the event aims to raise awareness about their needs.

  • It also raises money for Covenant House Illinois, a West Side facility offering shelter, meals, job training, medical and mental health services and legal aid to young people.

How Sleep Out works: Participants sign up and can attend in-person at Covenant House or virtually from a home yard, porch or anywhere outside a comfy bed in solidarity with unstably housed youth.

  • The in-person event includes panel discussions and interactive group sessions to hear from young people directly affected by homelessness.

What they're saying: "Participants' perspectives change and they recognize that young people facing homelessness are very capable of doing great things if they are empowered to feel hope and are provided with resources," Jim Coleman, Sleep Out event chair, tells Axios.


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