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Why I’m Sleeping on the Streets

On May 4th, I will be heading to the streets of east Vancouver, with only cardboard and a thin sleeping bag to experience what too many youth have to endure. Justin and I have participated in the Covenant House Sleep Out three times and each time it strikes a new chord in my heart and humbles me in ways I can’t describe.

There are so many days I wake up and feel completely overwhelmed with joy at this life I’ve been given, I’m so grateful I’ve always been surrounded by loving family and friends who are all so caring and supportive. I’ve always had a roof over my head and food in my belly and it chokes me up to think that some children just don’t get this. That they don’t have a safe bed to crawl into every night and they don’t know when their next meal will be. As a new mother, this crushes me beyond belief and it’s for these exact reasons WHY I’m so thankful for the Covenant House and all of the outstanding work that they do on a daily basis to help youth that are without a home. Not only do they provide shelter, food and caring, open arms but they also offer advice and guidance to these amazing kids. I couldn’t be HAPPIER to help spread awareness and show my support for this incredible group of angels.

Below is an interview I had with Global a couple of years back the morning after the sleep out, I had a new outlook, an immense feeling of appreciation and a broken heart knowing what youth of the Downtown Eastside go through every single night.

This year this whole experience is going to be very different for a number of reasons. First of all, this year I’ll be participating in the Covenant House Vancouver Sleep Out, Mother’s Edition, which means no Justin and certainly no Leo! This will also be the first year that I’ve participated in the sleep out since becoming a new mom … and I have a WHOLE new perspective on this … it has always broken my heart knowing that there are so many youth that don’t have a roof over their head and a place to call home. On any given night there are between 500 and 1000 young people living on the streets in Vancouver. Being a new mom this SHATTERS my heart MORE than it ever has. I can’t fathom Leo being in this position and it kills me to think of what these kids have to go through. The fact that someone’s child is out on the streets, sleeping alone on lonely cold nights is something that I can’t even bear to think about. I couldn’t even imagine how it would feel to know your child was all alone and exposed to dangerous situations each and every day.

Jillian Harris - Covenant House Sleep OutJillian Harris - Covenant House Sleep Out-2

I’m absolutely thrilled to be participating in the Sleep Out as it gives me the opportunity to spread the word about this wonderful cause and together we’re able to raise awareness and funds so that the Covenant House of Vancouver can further their reach and extend a warm, welcoming hand to those who need it most.

I find that sometimes people are worried that if they don’t donate hundreds of dollars that they aren’t making a difference but I’m here to tell you that each and every single dollar helps. Even if all you can donate is ONE dollar or five dollars, that is BEYOND AMAZING!! To put it in perspective, just $10 provides a youth with THREE nutritious meals for one day! That’s so incredible in my eyes!!

If you would like more information about this amazing cause, make sure to check out their website, or watch the video below! Ps. Keep your eyes peeled for Todd in there!!

If you would like to donate, you can still do so here. If you can’t spare any change this year, that is TOTALLY OKAY … raising awareness is JUST as important so feel free to spread the word and share this blog with your circle of family and friends, the more awareness we bring to this unfortunate situation, the more help can be provided to these incredible kids!!




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  1. Thank you Jillian for bringing awareness to an important cause, and using your platform for such a wonderful purpose.

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