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We reached our goal! Thank you to all of my friends, family, and clients who contributed to my Sleep Out. Your help will make a difference in very practical and meaningful ways.
The impact of last night is very difficult to put into words. Physically, I feel sore and tired. Mentally, I'm a little grouchy and my brain is slow. Six hours on pavement with a piece of cardboard and a sleeping bag in between me and the cement has left me with aching shoulders and hips. The rain began at about 3 am, which sent us scurrying under cover (we were thankful, however, for the lack of thunderstorms that were originally forecast!). Sleep came in 20-minute increments throughout the night, disturbed by bright lights, street noises, voices, and other unrecognizable sounds not part of my usual night sleep. I am now truly appreciative of mattresses and good pillows. What strikes me most is that I only had to do this once - homeless youth do this almost every night, sometimes for months on end.
Last night, being the first time back at Covenant House in about 16 years, was a gratifying glimpse into my past. I felt emotional as I walked through the shelter, and even though it had changed, it was as though I had never left. The 18 months I worked there really left a mark on me, just as last night did. Homelessness is not always a choice and my views have changed towards having more compassion and understanding.
As for doing it again next year? Definitely.
There's still time to help! The contribution page is open, so please do contribute if you haven't already!