Chicago Sleepout Event Adaps to COVID Realities
Reimagined event supports Chicago's homeless and family-owned small businesses
January 25, 2021 (Chicago, IL)
The third Friday in February generally sees over 200 Chicagoans sleeping in tents in Lincoln Park to support Care For Friends and their work for Chicago’s homeless. But as social distancing and COVID issues make that impossible, the organization needed to reimagine the event – which funds half of their operating budget each year.
“Finding a way to bring our event online was a given,” said Hope Pavich, Executive Director of Care For Friends. “But since the Pandemic has impacted so many family owned restaurants and small businesses in the community, we also wanted to see if there was a way we could expand our impact at the same time.”
Pavich and her team landed on a theme of “Keep the Home Fires Burning” for this year’s Sleepout – and while they will not have anyone sleeping next to the campfire they will still kindle at 530 W. Fullerton Parkway, they’re inviting supporters to display a lit candle in their home as a sign of support for those who don’t have one during a live streamed event on February 19th at 7pm Central.
Going along with the campfire theme, the organization has partnered with Windy City Sweets – who will be selling a special set of chocolate-dipped S’Mores in support of the event.
Casati’s Modern Italian has also gotten in on the act with a special takeout dinner for four during the event, as well as COVID-safe indoor dining options in heated igloos or private outdoor heated greenhouses.
“These are family-owned stores and restaurants – one of the hardest-hit sectors of the economy during the last year,” said JD Miller, Board Chair Emeritus of Care For Friends. “Yet they still turned to Care For Friends through the year to see how they can help us help Chicago’s most vulnerable. I’m excited that when you support the Sleepout with one of these food offerings, you have the win-win-win of helping the homeless, supporting a small business, and earning a tax deduction all at the same time.”
Details on the Sleepout are online at www.cffsleeps.org – which is where orders can be placed with Casati’s or Windy City Sweets as well.
About Care For Friends
Care For Friends provides easy access to community, food and overall wellness for Chicago’s most vulnerable and under-served people, in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.
Through its programs, the organization successfully connects people with community resources to enable them to achieve a better quality of life. For more information, please visit
Hope Pavich, Executive Director