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Anchorage Unites at Candlelight Vigil & Sleep Out: Providing Hope to At-Risk Youth

For Immediate Release                                                      

Nov. 6, 2019                                                    

Anchorage Unites at Candlelight Vigil & Sleep Out: Providing Hope to At-Risk Youth

Anchorage, Alaska – Hundreds of Alaskans will join together in a movement to end youth homelessness at Covenant House Alaska’s Candlelight Vigil & Executive Sleep Out.  The event is at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, on F Street outside Williwaw.

Covenant House Alaska (CHA) will recognize all of the youth they have served and those they continue to serve during the Candlelight vigil, which will take place where the original shelter first opened its doors in 1988. The evening will focus on the strength and resilience of the organization, calling back to its roots and looking forward to the work that will continue to be done. Our keynote speakers and previous youth will share their personal stories of hardship, resilience, and growth through the help of Covenant House. We will be joined by Covenant House Alaska’s pastoral minister, Dave Bacher (ChangePoint Ministries), and CHA COO Carlette Mack, who will both guide us through the evening’s program.

As part of the Candlelight Vigil Community Challenge, CHA will collect cold-weather gear (hats, gloves, fleece, boots, sweaters, etc.), toiletries and monetary donations at the event. The public can also donate to the Sleep Out at .

After the vigil, 45 Sleep Out leaders will take an Outreach bus tour, looking at the grim reality of homelessness and sex trafficking in Anchorage. These executives will then sleep outside in the cold at CHA to raise funds and show support for the at-risk and homeless youth of Alaska. Funds raised from the Sleep Out go directly to keeping CHA’s doors open 24/7 for its five programs which offer a myriad of services. 

“At this moment, there are youth experiencing homelessness on the streets, making desperate choices to survive,” said Alison Kear, CHA’s executive director, “supporting our Sleep Out can literally save a life.”

“Supporting Covenant House Alaska ensures that fewer youth in our state have to endure homelessness, abuse, and exploitation,” said 2nd year Sleep Out Chair, Paul Landes, GCI’s senior vice president. “Our fundraising goal is ambitious, but it’s necessary in order to effectively impact Alaska’s most at-risk population and break the vicious cycle of homelessness.”

Covenant House Alaska is the state’s largest shelter for at-risk youth experiencing homelessness. It provides safe shelter, warm meals, medical, education, employment, and housing services, as well as mental health and substance abuse counseling. CHA offers 108 beds across five programs in Anchorage. Since October 31, 1988, it has served over 25,000 youth in Alaska. 


5:30 p.m. — Candlelight Vigil on 6th and F Streets outside Williwaw.  Hot cocoa reception to follow inside Williwaw.   

7:00 p.m. —  Outreach Bus Tour for Sleep Out participants, departing from F Street. 

8-10 p.m. — Sleepers and youth will engage in discussions about homelessness. CHA, 755 A Street. 

11 p.m. — 6 a.m. — Sleep Out participants will be given a sleeping bag, a cardboard box, and a place in our outdoor courtyard to rest their heads for the night. CHA, 755 A Street. 

Media Contact: 

Joe Hemphill, Chief Dev. Officer