San Diego Youth Services’ board of directors are sleeping out on Friday, Oct. 1 to raise awareness and life-saving funds for youth experiencing homelessness. The event will take place on Oct. 1 starting at 6:30 p.m. at San Diego Youth Services’ parking lot at their administration building in Point Loma.
“Many people do not know that at least 1,500 youth are experiencing homelessness on any given night in San Diego,” said Walter Philips, CEO, San Diego Youth Services. “Our goal with this event is to raise awareness of the staggering number of young people experiencing homelessness, and to rally our community to support our children and young adults.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the severity of San Diego’s youth homelessness crisis, with youth experiencing homelessness at risk for human trafficking, assault, sexual violence and death. These youth also often struggle with their mental health and are unable to finish school or find a job to support themselves.
“We are sleeping out on the street to raise awareness so the youth no longer have to,” said Yandro Valdez, chair of Street Sleep SD. “By sleeping out, we are showing our commitment to this cause and to these young people’s futures.”
SDYS works to end the cycle of homelessness by moving youth into safe and stable housing, and providing safe places to live and long-term solutions for children and young adults who otherwise would have nowhere to go. The organization also provides wraparound services, including the tools and training youth need to become self-sufficient and create healthy and productive paths in life.
“We are trying to end youth homelessness, but we can’t do it alone,” said Valdez. “We need support from our community to really make a difference.”
To learn more and support Street Sleep SD, visit streetsleepsd.org.
San Diego Youth Services is a nonprofit organization serving more than 20,000 youth annually who are vulnerable, homeless or abused. SDYS has helped stabilize the lives of more than 770,000 youth living in San Diego County since its founding in 1970. SDYS is working to end homelessness, prevent delinquency and school failure, break the cycle of child abuse and neglect and promote mental health and addiction recovery. To learn more, visit www.sdyouthservices.org