All young people deserve to live lives free from homelessness and trafficking – every kid knows that. In fact, youth play a key role in building awareness.

While young people who face barriers due to race, sexuality and disability and poverty are often at higher risk of homelessness and trafficking, it can happen to anyone. About 60% of youth at Covenant House are from average and upper-income households.

It’s because this can happen to anyone that Ethan and Matthew McQueen wanted to use their voices to raise awareness.

After learning about Covenant House from their father, a regular participant in the Executive Sleep Out event, Ethan and Matthew realized they could help show that kids can make a difference, too. They soon rallied some local friends and supporters to join them for a “Kids Helping Kids” sleep out.

During the event, participants learned about Covenant House’s mission, and each kid wrote out their reason for taking part. The kids had a sleep-out on the family’s driveway in solidarity with young people experiencing homelessness.

“I’m sleeping outside to raise awareness of youth homelessness and to show other kids they can make a difference.” – Matthew McQueen

“I sleep out so homeless youth don’t have to!” – Ethan McQueen

Through Ethan and Michael’s efforts, the event ultimately raised $12,500 for Covenant House - $5,000 more than their goal. The giving continued with care packages for each participant to give to homeless youth afterward.

The Kids Helping Kids team plans to continue their mission this year. They hope to grow this year’s sleep out event, as well as their fundraising goal, to help even more young people build a better future.