Why Sleep Out?

Each year, Huckleberry House invites the community to Sleep Out in solidarity with the more than 3,000 youth, ages 12-24, who will find themselves without safe and stable housing in Franklin County each year.

And, we ask you to not only pay for the pleasure of sleeping outside, but to help us raise funds for our programs, too.

When I joined Huckleberry House last March and learned about Sleep Out, I, like most people, had a LOT of reservations. Sleep outside? That is pretty unappealing all by itself. I am not a young person, and cold and concrete just sounded like a nightmare. And, to do this with 100 strangers sounded even worse.

And, it rained. Hard.

And, it was cold. Very.

As I lay there, I thought – what if I didn’t have my warm home to return to in the morning? What if I wasn’t sure where my next meal was coming from? I had four sleeping bags and a husband by my side – but what if I had been alone? If I didn’t have a blanket? What if I was 14?

It was a sobering experience. One that I intellectually understood, but didn’t emotionally grasp. This experience didn’t emulate homelessness, it’s not mean to, but it did instill an empathy in my heart that it didn’t have before.

So, at Huckleberry House, we skip the fancy venue and the rubber chicken. We encourage sweat pants instead of suits. Instead of raising a paddle, we ask you to fundraise on our behalf through a peer-to-peer fundraising platform. We invite and encourage you to be uncomfortable, for just one night, which is nothing compared to the experiences of the more than 2,700 young people Huckleberry House serves each year.

If you’ve slept out before, join us again. If you haven’t participated before, you can watch this video for more information, and then plan to attend the Registration Kick-Off on April 18th from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the Chase Plaza, Lower.com Field. At this event, you’ll learn a little bit about Huckleberry House, register, set-up your fundraising page, and meet others participating in Sleep Out.




Please plan to Sleep Out on May 31st, on the Chase Plaza at Lower.com Field and support Huckleberry House and its mission: With hope, we shelter, support, and guide youth navigating challenges. For more information, visit: https://www.huckhouse.org/sleepout/.

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Items we need:

Clothing and Personal Items

  • Underwear
  • Sweatpants (Youth M – Adult XXL)
  • Sweatshirts (Youth M – Adult XXL)
  • Shorts (Youth M – Adult XXL)
  • T-shirts (Youth M – Adult XXL)
  • Socks
  • Wallets
  • Earbuds

          Please note that we are unable to accept any used clothing items.

General Supplies

  • Composition notebooks/journals
  • Adult coloring books
  • Colored pencils
  • Art supplies
  • “Smell goods” (i.e. Bath & Body Works)

Toiletries and Hygiene Products

  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner*
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Body soap*
  • Tootbrushes and toothpaste*
  • Brushes and combs
  • Ethnic hair care products

    The * denotes that the item must be in a full size bottle.

Misellaneous Items

  • Baby items
  • Pillows
  • Solid color twin comforters and sheet sets
  • Kitchen utensils, general cleaning and laundry supplies, picture frames
  • Non-perishable food items for youth outreach (crackers, cup of soup, fruit snacks, chips)
  • Gift cards from $5 to $25 for fast food restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations
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