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Young Hollywood took to the hard concrete Friday night to raise awareness and money for homeless, trafficked and at-risk youth.
Covenant House California (CHC) — a nonprofit agency that works to get youth off the streets, into jobs and into permanent housing — sponsored the Second Annual Sleep Out: Young Professionals Edition. The fundraiser is part of a nationwide effort taking place at Covenant House locations in six cities across the United States.
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Emerging, young business professionals from BYN Mellon, Bank of America, HBO and CAA, as well as young Hollywood actors including Episodes’ Mircea Monroe and Justified’s Joelle Carter participated in the fundraiser. The CHC hosted the event in its parking lot, giving participants two cardboard boxes and a sleeping bag for the night.
“It was a crazy experience, to be outside on the pavement and realize that some of these kids are doing that every night,” Monroe said.
Patrick S. McCabe, executive director of CHC, said that California alone has more than 20,000 homeless kids. Many are victims of violence, abuse or broken families. Others have turned 18 and become ineligible for the foster care system so they have no place to go.
“The Young Professional sleepers’ commitment to helping homeless youth will not only provide financial support but will send a message that we believe in these youth and their dreams for a better life,” McCabe said.
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Carter and Monroe said they were most affected by meeting the kids who are at Covenant House. “The most touching thing was some of the youth that agreed to speak to all of us,” Carter said. “You can’t help but be anything but inspired by their courage.”
Monroe said her experience led her to realize that these kids “need someone to believe in them and they need resources. It was incredibly moving and absolutely life-changing and something I want to be a part of forever and continue to bring awareness to.”
Carter added: “It’s such a small way to help but you come away with so much more knowledge. I have to say I’ve never appreciated my bed so much.”
The California branch raised $27,000 with the help of donations from family, friends and associates. The CHC raised $366,000 nationwide.
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