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Audra McDonald, Stephanie J. Block Join Digital Sleep Out to Support Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Audra McDonald, Stephanie J. Block Join Digital Sleep Out to Support Youth Experiencing Homelessness

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing need to ensure the 4.2 million young people across the country experiencing homelessness receive the shelter, support, and services they need, Broadway stars will participate in nonprofit Covenant House's first national digital Sleep Out America on April 24. Others, including Rachel Brosnahan, Adrienne Warren, Ariana DeBose, and Stephanie J. Block, will Sleep Out in the coming months.

People facing homelessness are more susceptible to the coronavirus and are also likely to get much sicker or die than people who are stably housed. Some estimates suggest transmission rates in households are above 80%, making youth living in congregant homeless shelters particularly at risk.

Youth facing homelessness are at greater risk because they are still developing physically, cognitively, psychologically, and emotionally, and often lack health insurance, resulting in health problems going unchecked, medication being beyond their reach, and minor untreated infections morphing into a major health emergency.

"COVID-19 has reached our shelters, and despite all of the odds we are facing, Covenant House is continuing to provide care to youth overcoming homelessness and keep kids healthy. Our national Sleep Out America campaign helps ensure we can continue to do this important work," said Covenant House President & CEO Kevin Ryan.

Funds raised from Sleep Out America go directly to food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, education, job training, and short and long-term housing for homeless youth.

The digital Sleep Out America even, which will begin online at 8PM EST on April 24, will feature live updates from front-line staff and youth at Covenant House shelters across the country, Covenant House President Kevin Ryan, interactive activities for families and individuals, and surprise guests.

To join the national, digital Sleep Out America on April 24, 2020, visit: www.sleepoutamerica.org

People can also sign up to Sleep Out as individuals or create a digital Sleep Out event with family and friends, with church or community groups, or with co-workers, classmates, or other affiliated groups. For more information and to register visit www.sleepoutamerica.org.

Covenant House provides individuals and groups with recommendations for how to structure a Sleep Out and a list of suggested activities to make the experience memorable, meaningful, and fun.

Sleep Out America, now in its third year, was previously held on one night in November via in-person events. In March 2020, due to rising concerns over COVID-19, Covenant House hosted its Young Professionals Sleep Out virtually.

To date, Sleep Out America has raised $X which has been used to provide 4,000 youth with stable housing, 1,600 youth with employment opportunities, and 720,000 nights of shelter.

More than 3.5 million young adults ages 18 to 25 and 700,000 adolescent minors ages 13 to 17 experience a form of homelessness in the course of a year. Youth homelessness affects urban and rural youth at similar levels.


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