Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners is kicking off the 2021 Sleep Out on Saturday, Nov. 13, and it will run through Dec. 31, 2021.
The eight-week series of events and experiences seeks to raise awareness and $3 million to prevent homelessness and create opportunities for families and individuals in the community to thrive.
The annual Sleep Out addresses the emergency needs of neighbors and delivers services in the areas of food, housing, education, transportation, employment and family support.
This year’s fund raising campaign launches Saturday, Nov. 13 with a virtual kickoff and community-wide Sleep Out (or Sleep In for people wanting to stay indoors) where the community will come together safely outside in the parking lot at Interfaith Outreach to officially kick off the campaign. In addition, gifts received on Give to the Max Day on Thursday, Nov. 18 will be matched up to $200,000.
“The needs of the community are greater than ever, and that’s why we’ve stepped up our fundraising goal to $3 million this year,” said Kevin Ward, Interfaith Outreach executive director. “Today, rising
housing costs, underemployment, the cost and lack of access to childcare and healthy foods are just a few of the burdens our neighbors are facing, and the added strains of the pandemic will have lasting effects on individuals and families living in poverty for years to come.”
According to Wilder Research, 14% of people living in Interfaith Outreach’s eight-city service area in the west metro are living in poverty. For a family of four, that’s $26,500 a year, an income level that can scarcely cover even the most basic needs such as rent which is $1,467 on average. Last year more than
200 Interfaith families experienced homelessness.
According to Second Harvest Heartland, in September 2020, 1 in 9 Minnesotans – including 1 in 6 kids – didn’t know where their next meal would come from.
Since the Sleep Out began, Interfaith Outreach has helped prevent homelessness 34,912 times through rent assists – keeping people in their homes and preventing homelessness 631 times last year alone.
The Interfaith Outreach Food Shelf is now a certified SuperShelf, serves hundreds of households per week including in-person and home delivery food distribution, and 44% of the people served at the Food Shelf are children. All of these efforts are largely possible thanks to the annual Sleep Out, which raises 40% of
the organization’s budget in eight weeks.
View the entire schedule of events at IOCP.org.