Homelessness can happen to virtually anyone.
To raise awareness of this fact, and to aid local homeless people, especially homeless youth, Ocean City businesses and individuals are coming together to present a ‘Sleep Out for Homeless Youth’ event on Thursday, November 16.
The event, benefiting Covenant House of New Jersey, takes place at “Making Waves” in the St. Peter’s of Ocean City church parking lot on Wesley Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets.
Music, prizes, gifts, special guests and a full night of surf movies await those who will be on hand to support the cause or sleep out overnight.
“From coast to coast, people will step out of their homes and their comfort zones to sleep outside in support of those who have no choice,” said Ocean City NJ Surf School’s Willie Fannon, one of the organizers.
Covenant House, which operates facilities to aid the homeless in 31 cities in six countries, has a local center in Atlantic City. “They are guided by a mission to serve youth with absolute respect and unconditional love” to help homeless kids and to safeguard all children in need, Fannon said.
Monetary donations are sought, and in addition, donations of umbrellas, baby formula, and new clothing including T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweat pants and underwear will be gratefully accepted.
With the aid of local businesses, the sleepout will feature music (Kinger from Stellar Mojo and Thriving Seas doing acoustic sets) and guest speakers from Covenent House.
Surfing movies will be shown all night, refreshments and snacks will be provided by Ocean City businesses for a fun night with a serious message and purpose.
The event, started last year by local business owners including Fannon’s Surf School as well as Peace of Wood, Bowfish Kids and Emerge Artists. When St. Peter’s came on board and provided its facilities, more donations and support came in from the OC Surf Café, Randazzo’s Pizza, Starbucks, Island Beach Gear, Copiers Plus, Mallon’s Bakery, Sack O’ Subs, Surfers Supplies, 7th Street Surf Shop, Ocean City Paddle Company, McMahon Insurance, Ocean City Police Department, and the Ocean City Fire Department, among others.
“Businesses and individuals have rallied around our cause, and this promises to be a great family event,” Fannon remarked.
He said all are welcome to attend and show support or to sleep out overnight. All proceeds and donations will go directly to Covenant House in Atlantic City.