A range of speakers and performers will join the Out in the Open Sleep Out Friday, Nov. 20, at Montrose and the Lake, on the east side of Cricket Hill, to benefit 19 youth homeless related projects and organizations.
Those who have not registered online for the Sleep Out can still attend. They can register on site to sleep out, or give a donation ( suggested $50 donation ) to attend just the evening portion. See www.sleepoutchicago.org . At the event, donations will be accepted directly for the beneficiaries.
The stage program begins at 6 pm with DJ music. Several people will rotate as evening MCs, including broadcast journalists Robin Robinson and Sean Lewis, Fawzia Mirza and Honey West. First up after 6:30 p.m. to get the crowd energized will be the Lakeside Pride Brass and Wind Quartets.
Performers for the evening, starting at 7 p.m., will include: Vanessa Davis, Sir Jonathan, Lucy Smith, Jess Godwin, Asher Brown, Honey West, Jesse Stanford and Sami Grisafe. Poet RJ Eldridge will also take the stage.
Speakers will be homeless advocates as well as politicians and special guests. Among the speakers will be Kasey White, Altagracia Montilla, Quinniya Hearns, Breezy Connor, Kenyada Johnson, Diane O'Connell, Channyn Lynn Parker, Sharonee, Mack Heard and politicians including Ald. James Cappleman, Ald. Deb Mell and City Treasurer Kurt Summers.
At 9 p.m., there will be a Transgender day of Remembrance program with Crispin Torres, Alexis Martinez and other speakers.
The program ends at 10:30 p.m. with DJ music. At 7 a.m., Artemis Singers and Chicago Gay Men's Chorus will close out the event.
Fight2Feed, which feeds many people experiencing homelessness in the city parks, will be providing food and beverages for the event, with additional donations from Center on Halsted, Big Shoulders Coffee, PepsiCo and other donors.
The following nonprofit partners will benefit from the event: AIDS Foundation of Chicago; Care2Prevent, the University of Chicago; Center on Halsted; Chicago House; Chicago Youth Storage Initiative; Howard Brown Health Center's Broadway Youth Center; Illinois Safe Schools Alliance; La Casa Norte; Lurie Children's Hospital - Division of Adolescent Medicine; Neon Dorms - Heartland Human Care Services; New Moms; Puerto Rican Cultural Center - El Rescate; TaskForce Prevention and Community Services; Teen Living Programs; The 750 Club Apartment Adoption Project; The Night Ministry; Thresholds; Unity Parenting and Counseling, Inc.; and YEPP: Youth Empowerment Performance Project.
The event is hosted by the newly formed Pride Action Tank, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Edelman, Agency EA and Windy City Times newspaper, along with a wide range of other partners including Ald. James Cappleman, MB Financial Bank, PepsiCo, Pierce Family Foundation, Virgin Hotel, Orbitz, The L Stop, Best Gay Chicago, Chicago Pride, Streetwise, Back2School, Project&, YWCA, All Chicago, AIAChicago, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Chicago Commission on Human Relations, Chicago Department of Public Health, Moxie, National Public Housing Museum, Chicago Urban League and City Treasurer Kurt Summers.
To donate or sign up for the inaugural event as well as to learn more about individual teen's stories, please visit sleepoutchicago.org .
Facebook invite: www.facebook.com/events/181991728802116/ .