by Lola Hemmat
Can you even imagine not having a home to go back to each night? Not having your guardian to keep you safe, and instead being alone and vulnerable every night? It’s a horrible truth that many youth have to face every single day, they don’t get to imagine what it would be like to live like this, because they know.
On November 2nd, my classmates and I did a sponsored sleep out for homeless youth in Colorado for Attention Homes. Did you know that there are 2,000 homeless youth in the Denver Metro area? All of these kids didn’t have any warning or idea that they would be forced from home, making it hard for these homeless children to continue their education. A non-profit called Attention Homes, can be the solution. Attention Homes accepts everyone from the age of 12 to 24, and they don’t discriminate against your ethnicity, sexual orientation, or anything else. They support the children with any emotional or educational needs they have in the homes they provide.
The problem is growing and getting out of control. So the expedition teachers for the sixth and seventh grade and a math teacher thought the middle school students should help. They decided to work with Attention Homes. The goal we had set for ourselves to earn for Attention Homes was $1,000 dollars, but by the time the sleep out rolled around, we had raised $4,400!
On the night of the sleep out it was around 30 degrees fahrenheit, so you can probably understand that not all of us were so excited to be sleeping outdoors. But we used grit, (one of the Watershed character traits) to get us through the night. At the beginning of the night we talked to three people working for Attention Homes, two of them were once homeless themselves, but Attention Homes helped them get back on their feet. After the specialists came, we headed outside into the cold to write some journal prompts. One of the prompts was to appreciate the people or person who puts a roof over our heads. This made many of us thankful for just how amazing the people in our lives are, and made us think of how horrible life would be without them.
I know we donated as much as we were able, but after sleeping out I wish I could do more to help. I wish everyone would do something to help, I wish people would stop treating these people like they aren’t there. But I don’t have to wish these things, I can do them and have others help. So, if you ever see someone on the streets,do something for them. Buy them a meal, some socks, or even just have a conversation, anything helps.