There are still 40 spots available for the overnight event designed to raise awareness and funds for homeless youth.
Columbus, OH — The numbers are shocking, and many people just aren’t aware this is happening. In 2018, over 3,000 young people in Franklin County were homeless. 500 teens find shelter at Huckleberry House each year.
On April 12th, 80 people will sleep outside to raise money and awareness of homeless young people in Columbus’ metro area. 46 people have signed up to sleep outside—we need your help getting the word out to secure the final 34 slots available for the SLEEP OUT!
SLEEP OUT! Columbus will take place at COSI, rain or shine, cold or warm. Among the 40 people already signed up to spend the night outside is Megan Anthony of Toledo. Megan spent a week at Huckleberry House’s crisis shelter as a teen and is now a social worker. She addressed the Sleep Out last year and explained that we need to raise awareness because without awareness, change cannot happen.
Participants are invited to sign up as individuals, or as teams to sleep out together. Upon registration, participants create a fundraising webpage so they can ask people to sponsor them, much like marathoners do.
Like last year, this year’s SLEEP OUT! committee is planning a somber event. For example, to emphasize the reality faced by so many youth, participants will be asked to leave their tents and air mattresses at home. Instead, Huckleberry House will provide one large event tent and the SLEEP OUT! will take place rain or shine, warm temperatures or cold.
“One thing we are trying to do with the Sleep Out is to draw attention to the growing problem of youth homelessness,” Executive Director Becky Westerfelt says. “We know that once people experience what it is like to be homeless, they will say ‘absolutely not in our community.’”
Registration is open until March 30 at www.huckhouse.org/sleep-out.
About Huckleberry House:
Since 1970, Huck House has operated central Ohio’s only 24-hour crisis shelter for teens ages 12-17. Since then, three programs have been added to reach young people and their families to build stronger lives. The Transitional Living Program is comprised of 40 apartments where 18-22 year olds learn all the skills they need to overcome the trauma of homelessness and transition to independent living in permanent housing. Our youth outreach team is out in the community daily, connecting young people with the resources they need. The Huck House Family Support team offers counseling to youth and their families to help them create more stable homes and families.