If you're a young professional in South Florida, chances are you have a home. And every night, after a day of being young and professional, you retreat to that home and crawl into bed (or into the bed of a fellow young professional). But what if that bed were a sidewalk? The crawl home from the bar would be significantly shorter, but chances are you would look far less professional cuddling up on concrete.
This Friday, you can join young professionals at six Covenant House locations nationwide as they show support for homeless youth by sleeping outside for a night as part of 2014's "Sleep Out: Young Professionals Edition."
For a $1,000 donation, each participant gets his or her own sleeping bag and cardboard box. The probability that anyone participating actually falls asleep is near zero, but the parking lot at Covenant House will be dimmed so you can try for some shuteye. And remember, this is for homeless youth, so leave the brown-bagged booze at home. There will be an onsite police officer for security, dinner and refreshments served through the night, and a roundtable discussion with homeless youth (who will tell you they typically aren't served dinner or offered security when they're on the street).
There are about 1.6 million homeless youth in the U.S., according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. This year, Covenant House Florida hopes to have 30 young professionals join their ranks for one night. If you'd like to take part, call your rich uncle and tell him you need $1,000 for a beachfront room at Château Hommes Les. Or get into character early and start panhandling ASAP.
Covenant House is the largest privately funded homeless youth advocacy group in the U.S., with 21 locations across America, Canada, and Latin America. Covenant House Florida is located at 733 Breakers Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Visit ypsleepout.org, or call 954-568-7916.
Fri., March 21, 2014