8th Annual Springfield Sleepout Raises Awareness for Youth Homelessness


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Friday is the eighth annual Springfield Sleepout. The sleepout is to inspire people to take action to end youth homelessness.

The Center for Community Engagement and the Homeless Youth Subcommittee of the Ozarks Alliance to End Homeless surveyed 207 youth in Springfield. The 2016 Survey of Springfield Area’s High-Risk and Homeless Youth found that 102 or 49 percent of those surveyed had experienced homelessness at some time. 105 or 51 percent were high-risk but had not been homeless. 43 had been homeless in life previously with their family and 26 were currently homeless.

The sleepout kicks off at 7 p.m. with an open house at the Rare Breed Youth Outreach Center, a program of The Kitchen, Inc.. The actual sleepout begins at 10 p.m. and lasts until 6 a.m. Saturday. 

There will be games, raffles, and other events going on throughout the night giving participants a chance for reflection.

Participants can sleep in a tent or a sleeping bag. 

Rare Breed youth services coordinator Samantha Sudduth said it helps the youth homeless understand the community cares. Sleepout helps raise awareness because it gets people into rare breed youth services. 
“We always say people can hear about us. I can talk about the Rare Breed for hours but until they see the building and they actually get a feel for what we do they’re not going to understand the scope of the problem and the severity of the need that we have,” said Sudduth.

The open house and the sleepout are free but donations for Rare Breed Youth Services program are encouraged.

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