17th Annual Neighbor to Neighbor Sleepout
December 4, 2021
A 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 outside. High school students will sleep out in their individual boxes, which will be spaced out appropriately. We are asking that all participants provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test prior to the event. The vigil is still going to be held in-person at Plymouth, and masks are required inside the building. 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 click here to donate online. All of the funds raised 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
- We want to increase our own compassion for people facing homelessness by experiencing homelessness for a night.
- We want to inform people in Fort Collins about the serious and often-overlooked problem of homelessness in Larimer County.
- We want to bring together people of multiple faiths towards a common cause.
- We want to do something physical to help:
- We want to raise money for the Neighbor 2 Neighbor's Homeless Prevention Program, a non-profit that provides rental assistance for people on the brink of homelessness.
- We want to collect outdoor gear and outdoor clothing for the non-profit Homeward Alliance, which provides warm clothes and sheltering equipment to those experiencing homelessness
How does the Sleep-Out help our community?
- Donations to Neighbor to Neighbor’s Homelessness Prevention Program help local families stay in their homes. In past years, we raised over $15,000 which provided rent assistance for more than 50 households.
- Cold weather gear is donated to Homeward Alliance who distribute it to those in need
Email the Sleepout Planning Team