The Sleep Out Movement is a national movement in the United States as well as Canada, to stand in solidarity with those who experience homelessness. Did you know that on any given night throughout the year, over half of a million people are experiencing homelessness? According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, this is true, and this number represents “17 out of every 10,000 people in the United States.” These statistics are shocking and disheartening, but many people forget about others experiencing homelessness as they continue with their daily lives. This statistic alone tells us that 17 percent of the United States population is homeless on any given night of the year. This includes times of extreme weather, be it heat or cold. Not all areas have heating and cooling centers, and not all those who are homeless have the means to travel to such locations. Deaths among those that are homeless are beginning to increase yearly.
The Sleep Out Movement is one night, for one goal: to help youth that suffers from homelessness. When participating in a Sleep Out, you will register, fundraise and sleep outside the night of the event. Participants will sleep outside the night of the event just like half a million people do each night. According to the Sleep Out American website, “4.2 million young people will find themselves without a safe, stable place to sleep.” There are many reasons for homelessness, but one thing is for certain, we all need to work to end homelessness amongst the youth in America.
According to the website for The Sleep Out Movement, “Through Sleep Out, you become an advocate for homeless youth and raise funds.” The Sleep Out movement allows for anyone to advocate and make a difference for the homeless youth in America and Canada, it means accepting to sleep outside for one night, so that a child may never have to sleep outside again.
This year, the Western Illinois University Marketing Club and Samaritan Well Inc. will be hosting Macomb’s very first Sleep Out for the Homeless event. The event will take place from 6 p.m. on Nov. 8, and will conclude at 6 a.m. on Nov. 9. The funds raised through this event will go to benefit the Samaritan Well Inc. and the Men’s and Women’s Shelter. These are both local entities that will directly give back to the Macomb community. It costs $25 to participate in the Sleep Out, and children under 10 years old are free.
There will be a variety of games and activities at the Sleep Out which include a live band, hayrack rides, scavenger hunt, bags, nine square, capture the flag, guest speakers and much more. There will also be pizza provided at the event, which will be served at midnight.
If you are an advocate for homelessness or are inspired to participate in this event, more information can be found at the “Sleep out for the Homeless” Facebook page. Any questions about the event can be directed to the Western Illinois University Marketing Club.