Sleep Out raises awareness of homeless youth

Members of the St. Augustine Young Professionals organization participated in the inaugural Sleep Out to Raise Awareness of Homeless Youth Nov. 11.

 

The event was held at Port in the Storm Homeless Youth Center.

“We live in such a wonderful community, and I was shocked to learn about the large number of youth that are homeless in St. Johns County,” said Eric Cable of The Young Professionals. “The Sleep Out at Port in the Storm Homeless Youth Shelter was a great way to bring light to an issue that is often kept in the shadows. In addition, it showcased the great opportunities the shelter provides to teens and the positive impact it makes on the community.”

After touring the new youth center, the group watched a movie called, “Sugar,” the story of a teen whose family is killed in a car crash. That accident led to her homelessness and her exposure to the many hazards awaiting a young person on the street.

Amy Gibson is part of the Youth Street Outreach team for St. Francis Housing Crisis Center. She said sleeping outside the shelter was scary.

“I had to sleep with one eye open because people were walking by us during the night,” Gibson said. “We had no bug spray, and soon the mosquitoes had us. We had no more than two hours of sleep.”

To learn more about Port in the Storm Youth Center, call 824-8987.

Interested parties can also attend a Lunch n’ Learn program at 1 p.m. Thursday at 1375 Arapaho Ave. Reservations are required for the lunch program. To reserve a seat, call 824-8987, ext. 2005. The deadline for reservations is Wednesday.

 

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