Due to this week’s severe drop in temperature and constant dusting of snow on Colorado’s Front Range, the non-profit organization Attention Homes has received several inquiries as to whether or not they will still hold their fund raising event tonight. Leaving one to wonder: Must they cancel an ill-timed dinner? Nope. Attention Homes is as bold – as an organization advocating for homeless and displaced youth should be- which is why they firmly responded to those inquiries with, “we will not cancel the event for any reason.” So the scheduled Sleep Out, yes, sleep out, is on. Tonight many of us who take our warm, cozy homes for granted are helping to raise money for the organization by willingly sleeping out in temperatures that are predicted to dip down below 10 degrees.
For Attention Homes that makes their point: Boulder’s homeless youth population sleeping out in near freezing weather isn’t a choice, it is their only option.
Attention Homes has an impressive history. The organization, which is closing in on its 50th anniversary, pioneered a model for over 200 youth shelters established both in the U.S. and internationally. In its own words the organization “provides opportunities for at-risk youth to change their lives,” through resources that support effective independent living for a young person. As tonight’s activities should demonstrate, sometimes that resource is something as simple as a roof over one’s head. For the homeless youth living in Boulder County going it alone without a safe home can lead to, at its very worst, sexual coercion and human trafficking. Attention Home’s work is critical. To get a sense of the interventions that the organization undertakes with its clients scroll through their Facebook page. There you’ll view photos of missing local youth interspersed with studies from an Attention Homes photography class. Both are stunning examples of the hope that Attention Homes offers to nearly 800 young people who deserve to thrive.
Please join us in supporting Attention Homes this season through their Giving Thanks event and drop off an item for a Thanksgiving meal that will be provided to Boulder’s homeless youth on November 27. It’s not much, a bag of peas, a can of cranberry jelly, but it could help a young person to feel warm during this chilly season.