As my wife Christine and I lay there at 3am, on the field of TD Place, with the wind blowing outside and the rain coming down lightly I thought to myself: "I am thankful for everything and everyone that I have".
I think that would be all of us.
This year, at her suggestion, Christine and I joined the Youth Service's Bureau 'Sleep Out For Youth' event.
The purpose of the event is to raise money and raise awareness.
That it does.
While I sat there by the courtesy fire we had (a luxury many homeless people do not get). I thought to myself of our housing first plan at the City just how important it is. If you do not have a roof over your head - everything else becomes secondary. Getting a job, an education or putting a life back together all require safety, a place to close your eyes and think. Sadly - many in our community lack that basic benefit. Meeting a group of young ladies my wife started a conversation. I asked one of the girls, likely 16 years old, if she was sleeping out? "No" she said "I've had my share of sleeping out. I was homeless." It was altogether a simple but stunning answer.
We feel we don't know the homeless so it's not an emotional issue for us.
Laying there in the cold, looking at all the kids who had come to support I thought of my two daughters, 16 and 22 and imagined how I could not imagine them here, on the street. Yet each day the ranks of the homeless youth grow.
Homelessness is tough at any age. As a child - homelessness changes your life forever, even if you break free.
Watch this video from YSB and consider offering the your support today.