Covenant House Stay In + Sleep Out Raises $571,000 For Homeless and Trafficked Youth

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Covenant House Toronto’s first-ever Stay In + Sleep Out virtual fundraiser has raised more than $571,000 for homeless and trafficked youth.

The June 26 Stay In + Sleep Out event involved people of all ages and backgrounds giving up the warmth of their beds and, for some, the comfort of their homes to spend a night sleeping out — just like the more than 6,000 youth who are forced to do so on any given night across Canada.

 Participants were asked to raise funds, sleep without their usual comforts for a night, and use the experience to create awareness about the ever-growing population of young people who face homelessness.

The all-night Stay In + Sleep Out live stream, which coincided with the event, was hosted by CTV’s Anne-Marie Mediwake. Its programming included: a virtual tour of Covenant House Toronto; interviews with executive director Mark Aston, residents and staff members; interactive activities and discussion opportunities; a musical performance by a young female resident; a wake-up yoga session; staff reflections; and a cooking lesson by chef Danny Moon.

Covenant House Toronto is Canada’s largest agency serving youth who are homeless, trafficked or at risk. It has supported more than 95,000 young people since 1982.

Covenant House Toronto has remained open non-stop during the COVID-19 crisis, serving more than 300 youth a day to try to keep them healthy and safe. It provides food, shelter, medical care, counseling, education and employment programs, advocacy and more.

Donors contribute almost 80 per cent of Covenant House Toronto’s $33-million annual operating budget, which includes serving 180,000 meals.

Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.