Did you know that in the course of a single year in America, 4.2 million young people, ages 13 to 24, face bouts of homelessness, living on the street or couch surfing with friends? Overall, homelessness in the U.S. increased in 2017 for the first time in seven years. This is a devastating reality, and we at Covenant House are so grateful to know you will stand with us. For more than 30 years you have been an invaluable lifeline for our youth, and that means more now than ever.
Covenant House reaches about 80,000 young people annually across our movement. Last year, we provided more than 700,000 nights of shelter and helped hundreds of youth move on to the next long-awaited milestone of their lives — finishing high school, putting down roots, getting hired, or even starting college.
I’m reminded of Evan, one of our youth who so typifies both the hardships experienced by our young people and their indomitable spirit. Evan shared how his parents’ drug and alcohol abuse drove him from his family home. Three separate times he found himself living on the streets. Ultimately, he took refuge in an adult men’s shelter, but the shelter was scary and hopeless, he said.
When Evan finally made his way to Covenant House, he told us he was amazed at the unconditional love and absolute respect that met him here. “I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “The staff is so supportive and positive.” That was the beginning of a life-changing experience for Evan. In his words:
When you’re homeless, all you can think about is where you’ll get your next meal, where you’ll take your next shower, where—and if—you’ll sleep that night. At Covenant House, I don’t have to worry about surviving. Here, I can spend my time learning, growing, and creating.
My dream is to get my GED, go to college, and study aeronautical engineering. My fondest memories are of watching my grandfather paint airplanes. One day, I want to make them fly.
At Covenant House, I feel like that dream is closer than ever. Here, I feel like I’m finally getting the opportunity to succeed.
Evan and hundreds of other youth across our movement are indeed getting that opportunity to succeed. We are so proud of them. At the same time, we’re aware that there are so many more great young people out there who are facing homelessness and just longing for a chance. Just like Evan, they all deserve the chance to live the life of their dreams.
We’re glad you’re able to join us again at the 2018 Lifeline Award Event and continue to provide the gifts of your support, your trust in Covenant House, and your belief in our youth.
Supporters of our Lifeline Award Event make a tremendous impact on the lives of homeless kids and we are so grateful to the companies and individuals who make this event possible. To join them in making a difference, learn more about our sponsorship opportunities.
For homeless and trafficked youth, having a warm bed, safe shelter, and caring adults they can rely on gives them the opportunity to trade a life on the streets for the future of their dreams. Every night, nearly 2,000 homeless youth visit those dreams as they sleep in a Covenant House bed.
Covenant House was founded more than 45 years ago to serve these young people with absolute respect and unconditional love. From a single drop-in center in New York City, Covenant House has grown into the largest primarily privately funded agency serving homeless youth in the Americas.
With a robust network spanning 31 cities in six countries, we provide our young people with food, shelter, crisis care, and essential services. To date, our trauma-informed, resilience-directed services have helped more than 1.5 million homeless youth transform their lives.
For more information, please visit www.covenanthouse.org.