Would You Give Up Your Bed Tonight … If Doing So Could Change Someone’s Life?

Sleep Out for Youth Oasis


Sleep Out


Imagine you are twelve to seventeen years old and you have nowhere to sleep tonight.  Imagine that you haven’t had a proper meal in a very long time.  That is exactly the thing we asked nineteen teens from the Baton Rouge District of the Louisiana Annual Conference to do on Friday, March 27th.  We joined together to raise awareness of the growing number of homeless teens in our community.  Our teens were given different scenarios, real life situations of teens in our area, as to how they became homeless; three siblings lost their home to a fire, one was kicked out when she was diagnosed HIV positive, one was thrown out of their house when she got pregnant, one ran away because he was tired of the ‘rules’, and one left because no one understood her when she heard voices in her head.  Some had to take care of infant siblings, which were water balloons, for the night.  And yes, one was even given a pretend baby to keep under their shirt the entire night.

We spent one night outside, yes, a bit cold, the temperature was 45 OF.  We slept in cardboard boxes and sleeping bags, we had one package of cheese crackers to eat all night.  To us it was twelve miserable hours that opened our eyes to see the realness the homeless endure.

We also are using this experience to raise funds for Youth Oasis.  Youth Oasis is an emergency shelter for children and teens ages ten to seventeen; to provide safety, food, medical care, education, and emotional support to at-risk teens.  If you feel lead to help support this home, visit www.youthoasis.org.  Thank you for helping the Baton Rouge District support this worthy and eye-opening cause.

Lonnie Stewart
Director of Youth Ministries
Zachary United Methodist Church

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