On the night of Thursday, November 21, more than 35 leaders in the business world slept out on the streets of Los Angeles in solidarity with homeless youth. 

The second annual Sleep Out: Executive Edition was sponsored by Covenant House California (CHC), and was part of a nationwide event taking place at 12 Covenant House sites in North American cities. The nationwide Sleep Out raised awareness for the plight of youth on the streets and raise money to support and assist homeless and at-risk youth. 

CHC’s Sleep Out: Executive Edition last year raised more than $150,000 with twenty executives.  This year’s participation has increased to 35 executives with a fundraising goal of $400,000.  

 “The people sleeping on the concrete that night were literally saving lives,” said Patrick McCabe, executive director of Covenant House California. “Each of them is a leader in their chosen industry and they each have taken time out of their busy lives to find out what it’s like to be homeless and out on the streets for a night. We thank them for their commitment.”  

Participants included Steve Dolcemashio, president of Comcast Entertainment Studios; David Angelo, founder of David & Goliath; Liza Pano, senior vice president of Paramount Studios; Paul Hanneman, co-president, Twentieth Century Fox Distribution; Julien Thuan, partner, United Talent Agency; and Sam Solakyan, CEO of Global Holdings. The Chairs of the event were Karl Pettijohn, managing director of JP Morgan, and Jeremiah Reynolds, partner at Kinsella, Weitzman, Iser, Kump & Aldisert, LLP. 

The  Sleep Out: Executive Edition began at 7 p.m. at the Covenant House California campus in Hollywood. Executives were given two cardboard boxes and a sleeping bag for their night on the pavement in the CHC parking lot. All participants raised funds from their companies, friends and family to support the life-changing work of Covenant House California to help young people leave the streets and begin new lives.

 “There are more than 25,000 homeless kids in California right now who need help,” said McCabe. “They are often victims of violence, abuse or broken families. In some cases, they have turned 18 and have left foster care and simply have no place to go.

 “Our group of sleepers has shown a commitment to helping these youth despite potential cold weather and rain. Their efforts will not only provide financial help but send a message to the CHC youth that they support and believe in the youth and their dreams for a better life.”

Covenant House California is a non-profit agency that saves the lives of at-risk and homeless youth. Every day, 365 days a year CHC reaches out to youth living on the streets and offers them hope and opportunities to turn their lives around.  Since 1988, CHC has impacted the lives of more than 160,000 homeless youth. For more information on Covenant House California, to make a donation, or to volunteer, go to www.covenanthousecalifornia.org or call (323) 461-3131.