I am just going to cut and paste the complete introduction from Lainey Gossip this morning. It is so important to remember that no child ever thinks to himself, “I want to grow up to be destitute, hungry, and homeless.” Every homeless person you see was a little guy or girl at one time, and something very bad happened to that child–whether by his or her poor decision making as an adult or not–for them to end up as the adult living on the street.
Remember who you were when you were a young teen, and ask yourself how long you would last if you had to sleep under a bridge. I have a dear, dear friend who was a homeless teen, and she makes it that much more important for me to keep my own child safe and sound. No one should ever experience homelessness or hunger, and I am thankful for places that take on the issue and try to offer some resolution.
Thanks God it didn’t rain. I wish I could post a poignant introduction here about what it was like to sleep outside last night in support of Covenant House Vancouver but, frankly, I’m too tired and too cold to think. We were in a parking lot attached to an alley. There are dumpsters in the alley. The mice were running around the corner. Two pieces of cardboard and a sleeping bag were all we had. I stuffed my extra pair of socks and my mittens into the sleeping bag case and called it a pillow. I spent hours debating later whether or not to sacrifice my neck for my toes, as the temperature eventually got so low I needed another layer on my feet. But it was so cold I didn’t want to move. And the ground is so…hard. You don’t know how hard it is to sleep on concrete until you sleep on concrete. Concrete, also, is not even. At least not in a parking lot. That’s me in the photo below, the second head from the left.
Besides the cold it’s also the noises. You don’t know what’s coming up behind you. I couldn’t sleep with my glasses on but I worried if I took them off they’d get stolen. Earlier the kids at Covenant House had warned us that it’s not a real night on the street until we got robbed. Or worse. And I had buddies. I wasn’t alone. All night I imagined being alone, how frightening that would be, and how desperately sad, to be cold and scared and defenceless…
Only to wake up and have to do that all over again.
Many street kids wake up from a night on concrete in a parking lot and either have to go to school or work. I can barely work right now and I’m doing it from home and with the promise of a long nap later.
Last night we raised $135,000 for the Covenant House Vancouver 30 Days for 30 Nights campaign to fund our 24 hour crisis shelter for the entire month of December, when the homeless are often loneliest and most despondent. If we meet our campaign goal, it means that every night, 54 kids will be off the streets, in a warm bed, having eaten 3 healthy meals, surrounded by counselors who care and staff who want to help, with access to resources to start rebuilding their lives.
My part of that $135,000 total amounts to over $12,000 and counting thanks to YOUR generosity. This doesn’t include a $1500 donation from the gossips in Brooklyn. And the match. With the match, my total will be close to $33,000 which means that YOU will have sponsored 3 full days and nights at Covenant House Vancouver in December. We’ll be at capacity each of those 3 nights. On those nights, please know that you’ll have given 54 kids, or more, a safe place to stay, some sanctuary from their harsh realities, and hope…that there’s more than just concrete in a parking lot.
Hunger can be eaten away. Cold can be warmed. But for kids on the street, it’s the feeling that they’re irrelevant that’s the most difficult to overcome. Thank you for letting them know that they are NOT unimportant. This was your gift to them.
People slept out for Covenant House all across North America last night. Click here and here to read stories from other Covenant House locations.
To find a Covenant House in your community, please click here. To support at-risk youth in the UK, please click here. And if you would like to contribute to my campaign total, please click here.
Yours in gossip,