In the state of Michigan alone, homelessness affects nearly 17,000 young people every year.
Covenant House Michigan is a part of a nationwide effort to provide young people with shelter, education and vocational programs — and hopefully the support they need to create the future they want to see.
Tonight, the organization is hosting their ninth annual event to raise awareness for the youth homelessness crisis. The Sleep Out: Executive Edition asks individuals and groups across the country to sleep overnight on the Covenant House campus. All of the money raised by the executives will help further care and vital services to homeless, abandoned, trafficked and exploited youth provided by Covenant House.
This year, the organization welcomes its first Black Chief Executive Officer. Meagan Dunn is a Detroit native with a unique set of skills that will give the organization a new direction. Dunn came to Covenant House from YWCA Kalamazoo where she was Vice President of Programs.
Dunn says the Sleep Out is an exercise in empathy.
“The biggest thing is to clear out some of those preconceived notions, [like] that if a youth is experiencing homeless they must be on drugs,” said Dunn.
If you couldn’t participate in Sleep Out: Executive Edition in Michigan, organizations can host their own Sleep Out to support young people overcoming homelessness at Covenant House.