Santa Monica Teens to Hold Outdoor "Sleep-Out" to Bring Awareness to Local Homelessness

Boys & Girls Clubs teens are bringing awareness about the city's homelessness issue through a safe overnight "sleep-out" on Jan. 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Jan. 23

Teens in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica’s Keystone Club are bringing awareness about the city’s homelessness issue through a safe overnight “sleep-out” on Jan. 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Jan. 23 at their Clubhouse in their enclosed outdoor recreation yard at 1238 Lincoln Blvd. The event aims to educate teens and the community about the issue of homelessness, and raise funds and donation items to aid the local homeless.

About 150 teens, ages 13-18, are expected to participate in this rain or shine event. Youth will sleep outside on the Club’s fenced in black top along with adult staff. Each participating teen will represent nearly 5 homeless people. According to the City of Santa Monica, in 2015 the number of homeless men, woman and children in Santa Monica was 738. The city will conduct the next homeless count on Jan. 27.

Teens will hear from guest speakers including representatives from the Santa Monica Police Department, Ocean Park Community Center (OPCC) and St. Joseph Center. Teens will also participate in team building, watch movies that feature issues on homelessness and more. 

Participants are asked to wear warm clothing and outerwear and to bring a sleeping bag, yoga mat or padded mat and a warm blanket.

It’s also requested that teens bring a $5 donation and items for the homeless including outerwear (beanies, gloves, scarves), new or unopened toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, razors, shaving cream, soap, and feminine hygiene products. Donations will be given to OPCC.

According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the total of homeless person in Los Angeles County in 2015 was 44,359, including thousands of children.

“Many do not receive the help they need to break the cycle of homelessness,” says Tim Blaylock, president & CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Monica. “Homeless kids have high rates of acute and chronic health problems, and the constant barrage of stress and traumatic experience has profound effects on their development and ability to learn. We are proud of our Keystone teens helping to bring this issue to light through this overnight experience.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica serves many homeless children, and works to break the cycle of homelessness. No child is turned away from the Club for lack of ability to pay the $20 membership fee. Members are provided resources and mentors to help them succeed in school and in life. Those who are in need of housing are connected with services to help with sustainable housing and self-sufficiency.

Founded in 1944, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica works to inspire and enable all young people to reach their full potential as caring, responsible and productive citizens. Through membership and outreach, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica currently serves approximately 8,000 youth across its 10 sites throughout Los Angeles County. Members come from 131 different ZIP codes, with the majority of members coming from Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, West Los Angeles and Inglewood. For more information, visit www.smbgc.org or follow them on Facebook (facebook.com/smbgcfan) and Twitter (twitter.com/SMBGC).


Categories: Children's Issues, Society

Tags: boys & girls club, count, homelessness, keystone, santa monica, sleep out, teens