We have continued to monitor the coronavirus outbreak, and refine our preparations and response as we receive more information.
Effective today, we are suspending all non-essential visits to Covenant House sites, as well as all volunteer activities and special events. This means that our Sleep Out this Friday will be shifting to an entirely virtual experience, where you can participate from home. We hope to have an in-person Sleep Out with you all in the future.
Here’s what this looks like:
- For Friday night: we will not be gathering at Covenant House Texas. Instead, we are asking you to take the Sleep Out experience into your home.
- For your Sleep Out experience: the Sleep Out has never been just about sleeping on the concrete. It’s a night of solidarity with the 4.2 million young people who experience homelessness each year. Many of these youth report couch surfing when they first become unstably housed. But our goal is not to replicate their experience or pretend to be homeless. We are stepping outside of our comfort zones to send a message to these young people — who have so often been ignored — that we care. And we can do that from anywhere.
- For youth at Covenant House Texas: they still need you. Not only are people facing homelessness more susceptible to the coronavirus, but they also are likely to get much sicker and experience more complications than people who are stably housed. One doctor said the coronavirus has a transmission rate above 80% in households, adding that homeless shelters are like “giant households,” which means that if a resident is infected, the virus is likely to spread quickly to others.
In every household, there’s an adult who plays the role of caretaker and of provider. At Covenant House Texas, we’re the providers. Young people are counting on us to keep our doors open, not just to our shelter but to our on-site health clinic, and our staff is working around the clock to protect and care for them.It is your support that makes this possible. Preparing for and responding to COVID-19 is already stretching our resources. You can help. By continuing to advocate and fundraise for our youth, you are ensuring that we can meet their evolving needs in real-time.
A Virtual Sleep Out page has been added to the website and will continue to be updated with resources you can use next Friday night, including information about how COVID-19 affects youth facing homelessness, how Covenant House Texas is responding, and how you can help. We’re a part of this movement together, even from our own homes, and you will hear from youth, staff, and your fellow participants throughout the night via email, video, and social media.
We sincerely apologize for any disappointment you may feel; because being with you all is always a highlight of our year, we are very disappointed as well. This decision was not made lightly, and we appreciate your patience & understanding as the situation has evolved. Please know that as soon as it’s deemed safe, we will be in touch with (many) invitations to come back to Covenant House Texas, including future Sleep Outs.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.
Covenant House Texas Development Team
General event questions?
Contact Erika Green, Special Events Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 713.630.5610
Questions about the virtual Sleep Out?
Contact Gabby King, Marketing Coordinator, email@example.com, 713.630.5651