Jefferson students 'sleep out' to raise awareness for teen homelessness

Friday, July 26, 2019
Jefferson students 'sleep out' to raise awareness for teen homelessness
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Graduate students from Jefferson University hit the streets to shine a light on homelessness on July 25, 2019.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- On Thursday evening roughly 90 physician assistant graduate students packed the Kanbar Campus Center at Thomas Jefferson University's East Fall Campus.

It wasn't for a late-night cram session, the students were gearing up for a "sleep-out" to raise awareness for teen homelessness.

"As physician assistants, we could potentially be dealing with patients that are homeless and it's something that we need to consider," said student Amanda Hughes.

Each student was tasked with raising about $250. The proceeds go to the Covenant House, a nationwide nonprofit shelter for homeless youth in Philadelphia.

"It's important to us to really recognize that there are 600 kids a night out there sleeping without primary care, mental health care without bedding, without a home," said student Amanda Abbott.

The students exceeded their initial $10,000 goal, raising more than $12,000 for the organization.

Covenant House officials say the donations are invaluable.

With this donation, officials say they can fully support one youth resident suffering from housing insecurity for at least one year.

"I think it really speaks to the students because I think they are getting ready to graduate and before they graduate they're going to sleep out and raise money for other kids who are in need here in Philadelphia. I think it speaks volumes of them," said executive director Hugh Organ.

The students are just as happy to give back.

"This is exactly the type of fundraiser we wanted to do for an organization that really means a lot to us," Abbott added.