Business executives and other high-profile figures in Toronto will be sleeping outdoors with cardboard boxes and sleeping bags to raise money for homeless youth.
Covenant House Toronto’s “Sleep Out: Executive Edition” will start in the Ryerson parking lot at 6 p.m. Participants will travel to numerous locations and parks before meeting back at Ryerson at 11 p.m.
Purolator president Patrick Nangle, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, and CIBC senior executive vice-president of wealth management Steve Geist are some of the high-profile figures expected to “sleep out” for one night.
The goal of this campaign is to bring awareness to youth homelessness, said Rose Cino, communications manager for Covenant House. “It’s a turning point before homelessness becomes chronic.”
As the largest agency in Canada for youth homelessness, Covenant House estimates that in one night, as many as 2,000 youth are sleeping without a home in Toronto. According to consolidated research from Covenant house, almost three quarters of the homeless youth have suffered physical, sexual or emotional abuse – among the primary reasons for leaving a home.
Toronto is not the only city reaching out to ask celebs and execs to live a night in the life of a young person experiencing homelessness. Add how many cities are participating this year.
With 18 North American cities participating, Covenant house raised more than $4.2 million last year.
This year, Covenant House is hoping to raise more than $800,000 in Toronto.