Senator Vin Gopal is helping to shed light on the tragic prevalence of youth homelessness by participating in, and raising funds for, the Covenant House Sleep Out: Asbury Park Edition on Friday, May 11.
4.2 million children in America will face homelessness this year.
“It is absolutely heartbreaking and completely unacceptable that even one child faces homelessness in America,” said Senator Vin Gopal.
“Sleeping on the street for one night barely begins to scratch the surface of what homeless teens face on a daily basis. The struggles and challenges they must navigate can seem insurmountable. But in participating in the Covenant House Sleep Out, we can raise awareness of this epidemic while supporting this incredible organization that provides vital services for homeless youth, including safe shelter.
“We often think of homelessness as an urban issue, something you encounter in densely populated cities. It’s easy to forget just how close to home this problem hits. 33.1 percent of individuals counted in the 2017 NJ Counts Survey for Monmouth County were under 18-years-old. This is a very real issue facing our community and it requires our attention as well as our action.
“I am so grateful to the Covenant House for supporting these teens throughout New Jersey and for the opportunity to do my part to fight youth homelessness. Together, we can work to ensure every child has a safe place to call home.”
Covenant House provides homeless young people with safe shelter and wrap-around services, including education and job training, so they can move forward to an adulthood free of poverty and the threat of homelessness. The organization operates in 31 cities across six countries.
Covenant House Asbury Park was first opened in 2012 in response to a growing need of support and resources for homeless teens across the state of New Jersey. Over the past few years, Covenant House operations in Asbury Park have expanded to meet the needs of the teens volunteers can reach. The Asbury Park homeless shelter is staffed around the clock with volunteers and professionals.
At the Asbury Park homeless shelter, volunteers open doors of opportunity for homeless youth through three core programs: Street Outreach, Supportive Housing, and Crisis Care. The Outreach team is staffed with experts in finding areas populated by homeless youth, and connecting with those who can help us reach them. The Supportive Housing programs at Covenant House Asbury Park aim to set teens up for independent success. All Crisis Care centers are stocked with medical supplies to address the immediate needs of a homeless teen that may be coming from the streets to one of the available beds. Together, these three programs formulate the Continuum of Care. The comprehensive Covenant House approach to support for homeless teens aims to minimize recidivism in youth homelessness by setting up teens for success beyond the Asbury Park homeless shelter.
To donate to the Senator’s team, visit: https://sleepout.donordrive.com/team/7114