Sleep Out Participants Take to the Streets Throughout November

Covenant House Sleep Out Volunteer

Throughout the month of November, Covenant House supporters will be sleeping on the streets of cities across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, in support of young people facing homelessness.

The annual Sleep Out events include Sleepers who range anywhere from teams of corporate partners, to individuals and groups who decided to try out the create-your-own Sleep Out option.

Some Sleepers have never participated before, and some have been giving up the comfort of their beds for years.

No matter the experience level, everyone comes together for one cause: to show solidarity with the young people who come to Covenant House sites each night in search of a safe place to sleep.

Patrick Morrissey, our Cisco Sleep Out executive sponsor, who will sleep out in Boston, is no rookie. This year will mark his fourth Sleep Out event, but his first in Boston. When he thinks back to how he got involved with Sleep Out, Patrick says he “got hooked after my first one.”

“Getting up and going to work after a night outside is eye opening to the realities our homeless youth face,” said Patrick. “Every year, it leaves me grateful for the comforts of home and the opportunity to give back.”

He added that “sleeping outside in the cold and dark, getting proximate to our homeless youth,” has had a profound impact on him. “It’s given me a deeper understanding of homelessness, the inequities that cause it, and how to take action.”

Tracy Dunn will be sleeping out in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina for the third year. Her first Sleep Out was in 2020, a few months into the pandemic when our community rallied around the need to keep the doors of Covenant House open 24/7 so that youth had somewhere to shelter in place. She is friends with Felicia Broussard, development director at Covenant House Texas in Houston. Felicia was sleeping out and decided to share her “why” with Tracy.

“I was very intrigued with the work that she was doing to support ending youth homelessness and decided to get involved. I told her that I wanted to participate next year, even if I had to come to Houston to Sleep Out,” Tracy said.

From there, Tracy asked Felicia to help her start a Sleep Out in Research Triangle Park.

Now, Tracy describes sleeping out as a gift. “We are fortunate to have the option to choose to Sleep Out while youth do not. So do it! It provides you a transformational view of all you have and how we all need to be more appreciative of our many blessings.” Tracy emphasized that “it is just one night” she has to give up her bed to raise the “much-needed awareness and financial support for youth experiencing homelessness. And with that one night, we make an impact on many lives.”

To anyone who’s never been a Sleeper, Patrick echoes that sentiment, sending the message, “One hard night is worth it. Everyone deserves a safe space to sleep.”

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