NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Covenant House New Orleans hosted its 12th annual Sleep Out fundraiser to raise awareness and funds to end youth homelessness. 

The fundraiser brought together 200 business and civic leaders as “sleepers” with a goal of raising $650,000. 

After taking part in several educational activities, sleepers lined the sidewalk outside Covenant House with nothing more than a cardboard box and a sleeping bag to gain a first-hand understanding of some of the conditions homeless people face. 

Several Loyola Law students and faculty participated in the Sleep Out. Dean Madeleine Landrieu slept out for her 12th year. “One of the young people looked at me and I was a judge at the time, and he said, ‘Judge, are y’all really going to do this?’ I said, ‘We are’ and he said to me, ‘I really didn’t think that people like you, care about kids like us.’ And every year, that’s what makes me come back.”

Landrieu emphasized the need to help homeless youths, “Kids out on the street are so vulnerable, they’re vulnerable to predators, they’re vulnerable to lack of health care.” 

Proceeds from the event will benefit their 24/7 open-intake shelter, the only one in the region providing safe shelter, nourishing food, clean clothing, and essential services like job training, education, healthcare, mental and physical health services, substance use support and case management.

For more on how to help Covenant House, visit the center’s website.

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