Business executives sleep outdoors to raise awareness of homelessness

Posted at 10:35 PM, Nov 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-15 22:39:04-05

Several business executives from metro Detroit are throwing out the comforts of a bed and sleeping outdoors. It’s all to bring awareness and support to youth homelessness.

All 45 executives sleeping outside have committed to raising $5,000 for the effort. Tonight’s sleep out is more than just sleeping outdoors, it’s to see and feel just a small piece of what homelessness is like.

"Going through it, one night isn’t even close to what they are doing day in and day out," said Eric Pico, director of customer services with DELTA Detroit.

It’s the 5th annual Detroit Sleep Out: Executive Edition.

"By doing this for one day you can somewhat feel what the youth homeless go through," Picco said. 

The sleep out is at Covenant House Michigan, 2959 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. It’s aimed at bringing awareness and support to youth homelessness. 

"People are here on our basketball court sleeping out and feeling what our kids feel, and having the understanding and raising money while doing it," said Claire Vanraaphost, development communication specialist at Covenant House.

Each year nearly 2 million kids across America will experience homelessness.  

"We are in the streets of metro Detroit and beyond trying to find the homeless kids and talking to them and trying to get the help," Vanraaphost said.

The executives say it’s unacceptable for a child to sleep on the streets, especially in the cold.

"A lot of times we get so busy with our schedules, and this allows us to reflect on what’s important and what we can do for the community and the youth," Picco said. 

Covenant house Michigan has been serving at-risk youth for 21 years. All the money raised will go right back into programs at Covenant House Michigan.