Once again, I want to thank all my family and friends who supported me in the Covenant House Sleep Out With your generosity our full team was able to raise over $1.8 million to help homeless youth in the NYC metropolitan area.
Just a few observations from the evening...
1) It’s absolutely heartbreaking to hear the stories of abuse, neglect, and dehumanization that some of the kids have gone through. It truly makes you thankful for how good your own life has been. But then to see the progress, healing, and resiliency they demonstrate through the help of Covenant House (“the Cov” as the kids call it) gives you renewed hope and encouragement.
2) I was very impressed with some cutting edge studies that the Cov is doing in the area of human trafficking. They have top notch legal experts and sociologists who are serving with their expertise to get to the core of this problem, and their findings are being cited by other organizations globally because of the reliability of their research. Come to find out that homelessness is a big risk factor for human trafficking.
BTW, when I hear “trafficking” I used to think “transport” or shipping people - as often seen on TV. That does happen, but really 95% of the problem happens right at home with locals who are “groomed” by recruiters and then forced into being sex workers (85%) or manual laborers (15%).
3) You can literally “feel” the love and security in the property at The Cov. They call it a “sacred space,” where everyone is treated with respect and dignity because they were made in the image of the God who loves them. And I could see over and over through the testimonies and meeting the staff that they all live this out every day. It makes a huge difference.
If you’re ever in the NYC area, consider visiting Covenant House in either Manhattan or Newark, NJ just to see the quality of care and to feel the amazing love that is available for the teens. They arrive broken in so many ways but the joy of seeing lives being healed, and futures being restored will make you realize that your investment in Covenant House is well worth it.
May you and your families have a blessed Christmas season, and thank you again for being a part of the Sleep-Out.
P.S. Enjoy some pictures from the event below.
The actual Sleep Out. The hoodie came in handy to block out the light from the street, and earplugs help block the noise. Much more bearable this year (48 degrees and no rain).