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The World’s Big Sleep Out

Dec. 13, 2019

On a cold December night in Chicago, some 150 people gathered at DePaul University for the World’s Big Sleep Out. Participants raised funds for local and international charities working to address homelessness, including DePaul’s Institute of Global Homelessness, UNICEF USA, All Chicago: Making Homelessness History, and Depaul USA. 

During an indoor program, the crowd listened to college students and others who had experienced homelessness, as well as nonprofit leaders about their programs and ways to help. The Trifecta Dance Collective performed an original piece, and musician Frank Turner flew in from London to play an acoustic set. 

In all, about 75 people braved the wind and cold to sleep outside in St. Vincent’s Circle on the Lincoln Park Campus. Together they raised nearly $18,000, contributing to millions raised across 52 cities worldwide. Chicago’s wind chill factor made it feel like was 23 degrees, coming in a close second to the chill in Kharkiv, Ukraine, which also held a sleep out. In the morning, participants gathered to reflect on the dignity of all people and holding compassion in our hearts this season for those who don’t have a place to call home. 

The Institute of Global Homelessness is a legacy partner for the event, connecting with cities that held sleep outs to offer resources and support in addressing the issue. Didn’t get a chance to give? Fundraising for the World’s Big Sleep Out event remains open through Christmas at ​