Sleep Out for Homelessness 2019



Mrs. Jen Cabigas, Guest Contributor

At the start of our Thanksgiving break, 43 students and 10 faculty members gave up an evening of comfort to spend the cold night outside in solidarity with homeless youth who sleep out on the street.  We began with an in-door teach-in and listened to guest speakers who shared about their personal experiences with homelessness.  We then spent the cold night in the stadium, and concluded with Mass in the morning.

Link to photos from the event:

The students were amazing and fully immersed themselves in the experience.  Here are some of their reflections:

  • I learned about the different ways homeless people might result in or be pulled in to. I was shocked when I heard about the human trafficking one because that is just awful. I learned that homeless people don’t have to just worry about surviving nature, but also other people.
  • I learned that LGBTQ youth are more likely to become homeless because they are not wanted by their families. Another thing I found out was that youth homelessness is hard to track or count because most kids are staying at friends houses or finding places to sleep.
  • For me it was a terrible night sleep and was very cold. I couldn’t imagine having to work or be productive after a few nights of sleeping like that. Even though i only did it for one night, it helped me realize that living like that and having to function after sleeping like that night after night must be very difficult.
  • This experience exceeded my expectations. It was fun, but it was also interesting because you had to really think about the best way to stay warm throughout the night. I also got to meet new people and strengthen my relationships with those I already knew. By sleeping (or at least trying to) in very cold conditions, I am so much more concern for those who are homeless. I couldn’t imagine having to sleep in those conditions for a long period.

This was a memorable experience, and I feel blessed to work alongside so many people committed to helping those in our society who are vulnerable, invisible and forgotten.