On Wednesday, February 20th, the grade nines participated in a Sleep OUT so that homeless youth could sleep IN. They spent January and February fundraising and spreading awareness of the work Covenant House (our partners) does with homeless youth in Vancouver. Their efforts paid off to the tune of over $12,000! Well done students and thank you donors!

The students volunteered at @CovenantHouseBC sorting clothes and talking to the youth outreach workers. We then split into small groups and walked around the city with only a twoonie to buy dinner. We took public buses and a surprise water taxi trip back to Bowen to sleep outside behind IPS. Below are some of the reflections they wrote about their experience. As you can see, an eye opening and worthwhile experience indeed.

  • Before this experience with Covenant House I had always put up that barrier between me and the people on the streets. This helped me learn that there is really no reason to. I understand that doing that can make anyone feel invisible. Everyone deserves kindness. Even in the smallest form of a smile or a hello.
  • I always want to give change to every homeless person I see but I’m glad Covenant House has given me the opportunity to do more. When my group pooled our change and gave it to an elderly woman named Kris – she lit up. She was so grateful even though it was only a small sum. I felt proud and happy.
  • The ground was rocky and uncomfortable and hard to get to sleep with temperatures below zero. As a homeless person they must always be tired and sore and stressed 24/7.
  • The people living on the streets are so incredibly strong, and they persevere through everything however difficult. Why is it then that people look down on the homeless, lock their doors when they drive past?
  • It is sad to think that these people and kids have so much potential to do amazing things in life and live normally, but one bad thing after another happens and they end up homeless. They are people just like us and you never know what path life will take you on.
  • I feel like most people think homelessness is their fault, because they chose to abuse drugs.That just really isn’t the case, there are so many other factors they didn’t have any choice in. I feel now, walking down the street, I will know to have more sympathy and that they are human too.
  • Even though many are in a seriously tough time we still saw many faces smiling and laughing. Even though these people have little to nothing they still have friends and a community.
  • I think it made me ton more grateful for what I have, how I live, my family and all the privileges that I take for granted.