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"Sleepout" Event to Benefit Homeless Kids in Springfield

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Last year alone, Rare Breed Youth Outreach Program helped as many as 1,110 homeless and high-risk young people in Springfield. In honor of National Homeless Youth Awareness month, this weekend will mark the 2nd annual Springfield Sleepout Event, hosted by Rare Breed. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann spoke organizers of the event and has this report.

Rare Breed Youth Services has been serving at-risk and homeless youth in Springfield for the last 10 years. The “sleepout” is a fundraising event that is designed to help the community understand the problems of homeless kids. Todd Duncan is spokesperson for Rare Breed, and says the sleepout slogan is “We sleep out so kids don’t have to.”

“Last year was a great event for our first year. We had 150 sleepers and another 100 volunteers, youth, and well-wishers stop by. So really about 250 people total. This year we are really hoping to expand on our event, it was really successful last year. Our primary goal is really to raise awareness of homeless youth in the Springfield community,” Duncan said.

Duncan says that there will be many of the same activities from last year like the cardboard box house competition, thrift store fashion show, games, a trivia contest, homeless-themed movies, and more. He says one new thing on the agenda this year will be live music performances, weather permitting. Duncan says this is a rain or shine event, and hopes to get between four and five hundred participants this year.

“Well, we’re really trying to get a large number of sleepers there. Our goal was to raise 20 thousand dollars this year. We are at around 8 thousand dollars right now, so we could certainly use some help,” said Duncan.

The sleepout begins at 7 pm. on Saturday, November 12th and continues through 7 a.m. on Sunday, November 13th. It will take place at Missouri University’s Plaster Stadium football field, and participants can register in advance or on the day of the event. You can a find link to more information below. For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.

Click here to learn more about Springfield Sleepout