Photos from the sleepout! (after you click, check your downloads folder)
16th Annual Neighbor to Neighbor Sleepout December 5, 2020
A VIRTUAL youth-led awareness and fundraising event at Plymouth.
What is the Neighbor to Neighbor Sleepout?
The Neighbor to Neighbor Homelessness Prevention Sleepout is an annual event in which youth sleep outdoors in cardboard boxes to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness in our community and gain empathy for the incredible challenges that homeless individuals face on a daily basis. As part of this event, youth also participate in an educational session focused on the complex nature of homelessness and its impact on both individuals and communities. To engage the wider community in this event, there is also a vigil in which people of all ages are invited to listen to a variety of speakers discuss various facets of the issue of poverty in Northern Colorado. Most importantly, the Sleepout is a fundraiser for Neighbor to Neighbor’s Homeless Prevention Program, which provides rental assistance to help keep individuals and families in their homes. The need for Neighbor to Neighbor’s services is up 2000% in 2020, which means the money raised from this event is much-needed and will be put to good use in our community!
In light of the current COVID situation, what will the Sleepout look like this year?
This year, in an effort to make the event as safe as possible for all participants, the majority of the Sleepout will be taking place virtually via Zoom. Youth will sleep out at their individual houses and participate in a virtual educational session. The vigil is still going to be held in-person at Plymouth, but it will be conducted in a drive-in style where attendees will sit in their cars and enjoy a pre-recorded video vigil. Our goal is to make this event safe for everyone involved while still making it a transformative experience for all participants!
Throughout the event, attendees will have the opportunity to donate money to Neighbor to Neighbor’s Homelessness Prevention Program. 100% of the funds raised at the Sleep Out are given to N2N. One of the large challenges as we tackle homelessness is ending the cycle. Thus, we have partnered with an organization that keeps people from falling into homelessness. Many families on the border of poverty are thrown into homelessness due to unexpected circumstances. N2N proposes to end that cycle by offering rental assistance at an average assistance amount of up to $300. And they boast great results! N2N followed up with clients, and, of those contacted, more than 90% are still in their own homes! Also, it makes financial sense. It is estimated that, once a family does become homeless, the per household costs of a temporary shelter housing, emergency room visits, agency services, food baskets, and the new housing total $5,000 or more per family. A cost of $300 per family looks pretty good compared to $5,000! For more information, see https://www.n2n.org/
Please write all checks to Plymouth UCC with N2N Sleepout in the memo line or donate online (choose N2N fund). All of the funds raised a the Sleepout go directly to Neighbor to Neighbor’s Homelessness Prevention Program.
The Sleepout also accepts donations of cold weather gear for Homeward Alliance, which attacks the issue of homelessness from a different angle. Their mission is to provide homeless men, women and children with the supplies that they need to survive on the streets and the support and companionship that they need to navigate the path from homelessness to self-sufficiency. The Alliance provides those experiencing homelessness with outdoor equipment, durable basic clothing, and hygiene items during the struggle to regain self-sufficiency. These items give those on the streets a better chance of finding jobs and staying warm in our bitter Colorado winters. These donations also allow homeless and near-homeless children a chance to participate in school. Many homeless people cannot stay in shelters due to a lack of space in the shelters or existing drug or alcohol problems. For more information, see www.homewardalliance.org
What we’re collecting is gently used outdoor gear:
Note: Homeless Gear does not distribute or collect knives, stoves, or lanterns
How does the Sleep-Out help our community?
Saturday, December 5
5:30 pm: Drive-in style vigil held in the parking lot at Plymouth UCC. Join us for a pre-recorded video vigil featuring local musicians and community leaders from the political and nonprofit spheres. If you would prefer to watch the vigil from home, the event will be available to livestream.
7:30 pm: Virtual educational session for middle school students via Zoom. We will be participating in a budgeting simulation to get a better understanding of how easy it can be for people to fall into poverty and how difficult it often is to get out of this situation.
8:00 pm: Virtual educational session for high school students via Zoom. We will be focusing our discussion around the ideas presented in the book “Evicted” by Matthew Desmond, which explains the crucial role that eviction and housing insecurity can play in causing people to become trapped in the cycle of poverty.
9:00 pm: Make final box preparations, bundle up, and get ready for a cold night!
Sunday, December 6
8:00 am: Virtual debrief via Zoom for all participants
Email Co-Coordinators Alli Stubbs and Katrina Nelson