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Thank you for your interested in media coverage of Care For Friends' Sleepout For Homelessness!  Below are various video clips and other files you are free to use in assembling your coverage. You will find more, generatlized content in the Care For Friends press kit.

To arrange an interview or access additional information about our event, please contact Care For Friends' Executive Director:

Hope Pavich

hope@careForFriends.org

773.932.1010

Organization Overview

  • Care For Friends has been serving those experiencing housing and food insecurity for over 50 years.

  • The program started to immediately respond to the needs of students displaced by the riots surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention..

  • The arrival of migrants bussed from Texas at the direction of Governor Greg Abbott has increased the number of individuals experiencing homelessness in Chicago by at least 15,000.

  • COVID brought a 30% expansion in demand for our services. In addition to our "traditionally homeless" folks, we saw an increase in "housed but unemployed" families approaching us for food, leading us to launch a mobile food pantry that serves 500 families of CPS students facing food insecurity.

  • Grocery delivery guests receive a month's work of groceries delivered to their door each month.

  • Organization has 12,500 contacts per year with housing insecure Chicagoans (appx 68,000 people will experience homelessness in Chicago this year)

  • Many of our guests are afraid to access services from other organizations that can get them out of homelessness, because of rigorous sign-in requirements or requests for identification

    • ​within 3 weeks of becoming homeless, even the most mentally healthy folks display signs of paranoia​

    • those with prior brushes with the law or questionable immigration status are afraid to provide ID upon first contact

  • We overcome those barriers by providing "no questions asked" hot meals three times per week, which also include representatives from partner organizations that guests are otherwise are afraid to access

  • At those meals, trusting relationships are developed, producing the following results

    • Housing: over 30% of our guests get housing support through case management connections made at a CFF meal. 

    • Jobs: StreetWise conducts onsite orientations for our guests.

    • Sober Mental and Physical Health:  80% of our guests have now found a permanent medical home that is not the Emergency Department

Event Overview

  • For years, the event involves 75 people sleeping outdoors in tents at 530 W. Fullerton Parkway.

  • Most are Chicagoans, though sleepers have come from as far away as Los Angeles and Boston

  • They are raising money to support the Care For Friends mission, including the expansion of services to address homeless youth

  • In 2020, the event shifted to accommodate COVID restrictions, where most sleepers took shelter in their own neighborhoods (including one who built an igloo in her backyard, as seen in this coverage). Both "sleep on our lawn" options and "sleep at your home" options will continue to be a part of the event.

    • A campfire will be kept lit from sunset to sunrise on the night of February 16th​.

    • Supporters are coming to light a candle from the fire, and bring home to place in their windows, a beacon of hope for all who don't have homes in this difficult time.

    • Many additional individuals are "sleeping out" near their own home (on porches, backyards, apartment courtyards, and the like)

    • They are also conducting a photo scavenger hunt in their neighborhoods, looking for places where a homeless person could find the resources they need for a night - posting to social media with #CFFSleeps

  • Donations accepted at www.CFFSleeps.org

  • Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter updates throughout the event are online using the hashtag #CFFSleeps

  • This is the ninth year in a row of the Sleepout; we are aiming for a cumulative fundraise of $300,000.

Event Logistics:

  • Location: 530 W. Fullerton Parkway, Chicago, IL 60614

  • Event Timeline

    • Friday, February 16th:  7pm Sleepers arrive on site, Fire Lighting and online streaming 

    • 7:30 pm SMores and Hot Beverages Break

    • campfire remains available until 7am for visitors

    • Saturday, February 17th: 6am Sunrise Breakfast

Other Background Materials

Can't send a film crew out yourself?  Feel free to use any of the downloadable videos or still photos below:

Video Files

​​Campfires

Setting Up Tents

Tent Glamour Shots

Sleepout Participants

Mobile Pantry

Homeless Guests

Still Photos

Download Still Photo Library

Sleepout For Homelessness
Press Kit

Lighting The Path Home

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