November 6th marks the 7th annual ‘Sleep Out’ event put on by The Kitchen Inc. to benefit Rare Breed Youth Services. The event, hosted by the Wesley United Methodist Church, hopes to raise money and awareness for local homeless youths. Families and people of all ages are welcome to join and participate in games, movies, and a cardboard house building competition says Jacque Harness, special event coordinator at The Kitchen.
“It’s very important to have that education component with this event, but also knowing it’s a lot of fun and you can come out, have a great time, learn a lot, and be supporting our youth in helping us raise money so we can continue to offer them services.”
Operating as a branch of The Kitchen, which works to prevent and eradicate homelessness in our community, Rare Breed offers free and confidential help to youths. Open since 2000, Rare Breed has helped about 9,000 homeless youths in the Ozarks. Providing a safe place for homeless youths to stay and recuperate, the drop-in center usually sees up to 65 youths a night.
“We really appreciate community support. We cannot continue to offer the services we offer and work towards our mission of ending homelessness, especially for our youth, without the support of our community.”
Averaging around 250-300 people at each event, last year’s ‘sleep out’ brought in around $20,000 to benefit Rare Breed, and this year the organization is hoping for a similar turn out.
“The sleep out event is so important to both The Kitchen and our Rare Breed youth services because it creates awareness about youth homelessness, and especially youth homelessness in our area. Also, it’s our biggest fund raiser for the Rare Breed youth services program.”