Melika Ghasemi / Staff reporter

February 28 will be a wake-up call for some students who will be joining the annual Sleepout to raise awareness and funds for homeless youth.

In some countries, the rate of homeless people are going up dramatically–including Vancouver city. Homeless people who don’t have any support from the government and others at all can barely continue their life.

Gleneagle students will join the event for homeless youth, where they sleep a night outside of the school to feel tolerate such a tough position without food and support of their loved ones.

All participating students will bring a blanket, pillows, sleeping bag, and a cardboard box.

This is an event attended by choice. The key goal of sleeping outside as group is to simulate homelessness for a short period of time, learning empathy by being in a homeless teen’s shoes.

People who accept this challenge in the current cold weather with other risks involved such as wildlife will strengthen the understanding of what homeless youth may face every night.

“I think it’s quite admirable because there are a thousand of homeless people in downtown Vancouver on the daily [who] sleep outside. Sometimes they do not even have any blankets and cannot stay in a permanent place[s],” said Jazmine Cabaluna, grade 9.

“I also think that it is so nice of students and those who showed us what it means to be outside [to] think for a moment about how […] it would be if we wouldn’t have a roof, car, family and [care],” added Cabaluna.

People fundraise for the cause of homelessness because they believe that changing these people’s lives are not an easy job to do. An event like sleepout is valuable because students themselves realize that there are more options to take in order to help homeless youth, helping to create a new life for them.

This is especially meaningful for those who had no choice in their homelssness and are fighting a daily battle for survival. All money raised from the sleepout event is being sent to the Covenant House, an organization based in Vancouver that support and assist homeless youth and other youth in need.

“It is very unfortunate that people our age must spend their life outside, as we can enjoy our comfort and easy life, so we try hard to […] be a part of their experience. This [event] would not be interesting, but is an important and good cause,” said Lauryn Lee, grade 12.