SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Oct. 31, 2016) — The 8th annual Springfield Sleepout is Friday, Nov. 4, through Saturday, Nov. 5, and serves as a symbol of the homeless youth experience in conjunction with National Homeless Youth Awareness Month. Participants will “sleep out” in an effort to raise money for The Kitchen, Inc.’s Rare Breed Youth Services program and create awareness of youth homelessness to inspire others to take action to end it.
Data shows the median age of first-time homelessness on their own in Springfield is only 16-years-old, and more than half of those who are homeless got kicked out of their homes. With no support system or money to live, it’s a terrifyingly brutal life on the streets. Imagine being a teenager who has nowhere safe to sleep, no food to eat and no way to stay warm. Currently, there are hundreds of homeless or at-risk youth ages 13 to 20 living on the streets of Springfield in this situation that need our help. Many of them suffer from abuse, mental illness and addiction, and they are continually faced with sexual exploitation and trafficking in this community. Please join us to take a stand in the fight against youth homelessness.
This year’s event will take place at the Rare Breed Youth Outreach Center, 301 N. Main. In addition to the Sleepout, the Rare Breed Youth Outreach Center will host an open house and offer tours of the facility from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4. Wesley United Methodist Church will provide soups during that time. Original artwork by youth participating in the Rare Breed program will be on display. Guests will also have an opportunity to take part in several raffles. The open house and tours are free and open to all ages. Donations are encouraged.
Sleepout participants (18 and older) are invited to sleep in a tent or sleeping bag, as well as take part in planned activities. The Sleepout will begin at 10:00 p.m. and will continue until 6:00 a.m. the following morning. Activities include games, raffles, journaling and moments of mindfulness that will give participants a chance for reflection. Warming access will be available. Participants can register at www.thekitcheninc.org. The Sleepout is free, but participants are encouraged to raise donations for The Kitchen Inc.’s Rare Breed Youth Services program.
Help prevent and end homelessness for our youth by participating in the Springfield Sleepout.