The Navigator

Covenant House Sleepout

On November 2nd, ACTIONS and the Covenant House can together to sponsor New Orleans’ first student sleepout. Spearheaded by sophomore Sophia Landry, this event was a great success! 24 students and 6 teachers slept outside on the Kolb field to help raise money and awareness about the problem of homelessness in our city.

In the month leading up to the sleepout, students decorated their boxes with the names of those who had donated to their sleepout, and the reason why they were sleeping out. The night started after the Newman Fisher football game, with students setting up their boxes for the sleepout. Covenant House Director, Mr. Jim Kelly then introduced the sleepout and explained the Covenant House to all of the participants. The covenant House accepts all youth who come to their doors asking for help regardless of the funding they have available or how full they are. Covenant House is fully committed to loving, supporting, and helping to grow all of its youth, and ensuring the safety and ultimate success of its youth.

Next the students watched the Vice documentary Shelter which followed the youth of the Covenant House for a year with unfettered access. From this, students were able to become more informed about the problems which surround, create, and effect youth homelessness in our city. Mr. Kelly then answered questions and helped the students to further understand the Covenant House’s role and how we can help.

Students then participated in small discussion groups to help process the impact of the movie. They worked together to understand how homelessness effects our community and why it is important that we pay attention to the problem of youth homelessness.

Later, the students relaxed on the field, hanging out with faculty (shout out to Mr. Jones’ participating in star-tipping) before ultimately going to sleep. In the morning, they watched clips of where the youth featured in Shelter are now, and they came up with an action plan for future interaction with the Covenant House. In the coming months, they plan to partner with the Covenant House to serve meals to the youth who live there, and to help raise money through the Crescent City Classic. In total, students were about to raise over $7,300 for the Covenant House!

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