Orlando Executives Sleep Outside to Call Attention to Youth Homelessness
Every homeless young adult has a story. Some have been kicked out of the house; others have run away from unhealthy situations; and others have come from chronically poor families. Covenant House Florida is hosting Sleep Out, part of a national effort to raise money to support shelter and transitional apartments for young homeless adults.
Development director Maria Shorkey says 75 young adults are currently receiving help through Covenant’s programs.
“We have youth that have family conflicts. We have youth that it was the financial crisis and just kids that came from environments that perhaps were not the ideal place for a young person to grow up.”
It is difficult for many organizations to estimate the number of homeless youth since the cut off age tens to be 18 years old rather than 24 years old. Shorkey says it is also because many youth do not want to be singled out because they lack education and the basic life skills to support themselves.
“In some cases, we’re talking about young mothers that do not have the tools to properly create an environment for their children,” she says.
Current and former homeless youth will share their stories at Sleep Out, now in its third year in central Florida.
Executives will spend the night trying to raise Covenants $100,000 goal. They will sleep on cardboard boxes.
Last year, Covenant raised $77,000 to support its programs.
The majority of its funding comes from the federal Department of Housing & Urban Development.
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