OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – Youth Futures, a nonprofit dedicated to providing shelter and case management services to homeless youths in Utah, will be holding its 6th annual Utah Sleep Out 2022 this Saturday, Nov. 5, starting at 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. the next day.
Over 100 participants will be sleeping outside at the organization’s back parking lot at 2760 Adams Ave. to raise funds for Utah’s runaway and homeless youth. The temperature on Saturday night is expected to be around 36°F with a 70% chance of rain.
“This project is my baby. My passion. My life. Kids do not deserve to sleep in the streets,” said Kristen Mitchell, founder of Youth Futures.
Organizers said they hoped to increase awareness of the issues surrounding youth homelessness by giving participants a brief glimpse into the weather conditions they have to endure most of the time.
Attendees are advised to bring their own gear to keep themselves warm throughout the night. They will have access to restrooms and a “warm zone,” where hot soup and rolls will be available from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Hot coffee, coca, soda, s’mores and snacks are available all night. There will be breakfast on Sunday at 6 a.m.
Programs in the evening include an opportunity drawing, an award ceremony for the individuals who raised the most money and a candlelight vigil held in honor of homeless youths who are often also victims of human trafficking.
So far, attendees and private donors have raised over $33,500 to fund emergency shelters and other resources for vulnerable teens in the community.
The nonprofit has 53 beds available for teens between their three Utah locations in Ogden, Cedar City and St. George. Their programs provide teens in need with meals, transportation, employment and housing connections and access to mental health and medical treatment.