Chicago's youth-serving homeless agencies, shelters and drop-in centers will benefit from the Out in the Open Sleep In Friday night, Feb. 24 in Chicago's South Loop. Thirteen non-profits will come together for a night of advocacy and fundraising at 2nd Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Avenue.
More than 20,000 young adults and students are looking for a permanent home, not just overnight shelter.
The event will feature music and art, with speeches by youth who have experienced housing instability. New work by artist Erik R. Sosa-Kibby will be for sale, with 100% of proceeds being split among the nonprofits.
This is the second event raising funds for these agencies. The first was held during a blizzard in November 2015, and raised more than $44,000.
The event works like other pledge-related events. People sign up for teams that select which agency they are raising funds for. Individuals can join any team to benefit any of the partner agencies. Team names should also include the beneficiary agency. Team members sleep in overnight at the church, in the gym and other spaces.
Chicago-based rapper Taylor Bennett, who is releasing his new album the same date, has created a team to raise funds for three South Side-serving youth agencies.
This year, the event is also able to accommodate satellite events anywhere, with people creating their own event in the city or suburbs, and selecting which agencies to raise funds for. This is perfect for schools, religious organizations or families to build their own Sleep In and be part of the benefit, connecting through live social media posts during that evening.
During the 7-10 p.m. program, attendees will hear from individual youth and participate in a variety of activities. There will also be dozens of entertainers performing during the event, including Melo Makes Music, Lucy Smith, Jess Godwin, Sonny Apollo, Yohan, Alma Mendoza, Sami Grisafe, Jace, JaMal Green from Majostee Allstars, and on the church's beautiful organ, University of Chicago student Chelsie Coren. Poet e. nina jay will read from her work.
Fawzia Mirza, fresh off MC-ing the 250,000-strong Women's March on Chicago, will serve as MC, along with NBC Chicago's LeeAnn Trotter.
In addition to youth of lived experience, there will be three special guest political speakers: Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, Illinois state Rep. Juliana Stratton and Chicago Ald. Pat Dowell.
This year's partner agencies are: The 750 Club Apartment Adoption Project, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Broadway Youth Center of Howard Brown Health, Center on Halsted, Chicago Youth Storage Initiative, El Rescate, La Casa Norte, LYTE Collective, New Moms, The Night Ministry, Pride Action Tank, Teen Living Programs and Unity Parenting.
The event is hosted by Pride Action Tank, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Edelman, agencyEA, Windy City Times newspaper, Second Presbyterian Church, along with a wide range of other partners.
To donate or sign up for this event as well as to learn more about individual teen's stories, please visit sleepinchicago.org/ .
To volunteer or for information on team signups, contact Jackie Thaney: JThaney@aidschicago.org .
For information on sponsorships, email Tracy Baim, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Sleep-In-Chicago-1473953326244549/ .