Stephanie J. Block, Capathia Jenkins & More Sleep Out for Covenant House
Fifty-three of Broadway's brightest and most compassionate stars spent last night sleeping on the streets outside the Covenant House crisis shelter in Manhattan in solidarity with the 300 homeless young people living inside.The first-ever Covenant House Broadway Sleep Out raised over $136,000 to provide food, clothing, shelter, and hope for homeless youth.
Participants included: Sebastian Arcelus, Stephanie J. Block, Rachel Brosnahan, Jeff Calhoun, ElizaBeth Davis, Denis O'Hare, Rory O'Malley, Adriane Lenox, Michael McElroy, Alice Ripley and Frank Wildhorn.
"I have always been proud to be a part of the Broadway community," said Capathia Jenkins, star of Newsies, and Martin Short - Fame Becomes Me. "But tonight I am not just proud ... I'm honored. We came together and said yes to raising awareness ... yes to raising money for homeless kids ... yes to grabbing a sleeping bag and sleeping on the pavement. The result will be many young lives changed for the better forever."
Ms. Jenkins co-chaired the event along with multi-Grammy and Tony Award nominated composer/producer Frank Wildhorn, Tony nominated actress Stephanie J. Block, and award-winning lyricist and producer Neil Berg.
"Last night was just the beginning," said Berg. "My goal and my dream is that in the years to come we'll have so many sleepers that we'll have to close an entire city block. This is a powerful movement on behalf of homeless kids and I've never been prouder to be part of the Broadway community."
"As a kid growing up in the city, I've always been so aware of the plight and struggle of our homeless kids," said Wildhorn. "Getting to be here at Covenant House and see the courage of these kids and hear their struggles, I am touched and so happy to be able to help in any way I can."
"I've been blessed to get to know many of the young people at Covenant House," said Ms. Block. "These are good, courageous young people and they deserve the right to a future away from the streets. I'm proud to be part of a Broadway community that is so committed to making a difference in the lives of these kids."
"Thank you for coming to this special place we call home for over 300 young people a night," said Covenant House President Kevin Ryan to the sleepers. "You brought us many gifts through this Broadway Sleep Out. You've raised funds, you've raised awareness. But the greatest gift you brought with you is dignity. Because you have taken the time to care, we can provide our kids with the dignity that all kids need and deserve."
Covenant House provides 24/7 crisis care and on-going support for homeless young people in need of a safe haven. Information can be found by visiting www.covenanthouse.org. For more information about the Broadway Sleep Out, go to www.broadwaysleepout.org.
Photo courtesy of Covenant House