Settling in for the night outside Promise House

Promise House staff and volunteers slept out in the parking lot last night (Nov. 17) to raise awareness of youth homelessness and to raise funds.

About 30 people each pledged to raise $5,000 for the organization.

Promise House provides housing for homeless teens. About 40 percent of the youth served are LGBT.

The agency, which has been housing youth since the 1980s, has become such an important part of the LGBT community that they were a Black Tie Dinner beneficiary this year.

CEO Ashley Lind said they have been funded, are creating new programs and found a new home specifically for LGBT youth 18-21 years old who identify that as the primary reason they’re homeless. This new program should begin sometime in December. The program will focus on living skills, Lind said, focusing on job preparation, homemaking and finances.

“Our job is to stay on the cutting edge and meet the community need,” Lind said.

The sleep out is the second annual event. The goal is to raise $125,000. By last night, at least $90,000 has been pledged. To donate, go here.

During the night, temperatures dropped and it rained. Lind said that was OK. Nothing wrong with people who work with homeless youth knowing exactly what the teens have experienced.

Regardless of the reason a young person is homeless, she said, “we’re here to open our arms.”