About 60 community members along with Child and Family Services spent last night, overnight, on the cold ground in downtown Manchester in the 2nd annual CFS SleepOut to raise funds and awareness to aid New Hampshire’s homeless youth. The group raised over $170,000.
Several prominent business leaders in New Hampshire joined in the initiative, not only as sponsors, but by providing sleepers or teams of sleepers from their companies. Lead corporate supporters included PROCON and Bank of America. Additional sponsorship was provided by Well Sense Health Plan.
Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas joined in the fellowship part of the evening to say a few words about the impact of Child and Family Services’ work with youth in the city of Manchester. “This is about raising money to help children find their way in life," he says. "It is one of the most important things we can do for kids today..."
Two clients of CFS, Felicia and Kadyja, also spoke from the heart, sharing their experiences of being homeless and of how they are turning their lives around and are working toward future goals. The young women captivated the audience and conveyed the impact of their support.
Mark, Sally and Jennifer Stebbins, owners of PROCON, a long-standing partner of CFS, presented a $50,000 check to CFS for the SleepOut.
“The Stebbins family has partnered with and supported Child and Family Services for over 30 years,” says Alvarez de Toledo. “This past year, their company, PROCON, took on the task of establishing our new Youth Resource Center at 326 Lincoln Street. With major financial commitment and untold hours of sweat equity, they renovated our new facility, which has become the new destination for over 1000 local at-risk youth. I can’t think of any business that has done as much to BUILD brighter futures for New Hampshire youth.”
Mark Stebbins took a few minutes at the event to share why he supports the vision of CFS. “It’s amazing what Child and Family Services does day in and day out for youth in need. The heart and soul that goes into caring for these kids on a daily basis is truly outstanding. Sally, our company and I support CFS so that these youth can someday grow up and be able to provide the home they did not have, for their own kids."
“PROCON is honored to be a major sponsor of Child and Family Services’ Sleep Out 2016,” says Sally Stebbins, owner of PROCON. Homelessness is a major issue in the City of Manchester and negatively impacts so many of our youth. The SleepOut will raise awareness throughout our community and the funds raised through this effort, will be used to combat youth homelessness and provide the services that these young people need and deserve. Working together with Child and Family Services, PROCON is committed to making a positive difference in our community.”
Child and Family Services, a statewide, private, nonprofit organization, serves as a lifeline to over 1,500 runaway, homeless and at-risk youth per year throughout New Hampshire, providing a spectrum of services from survival aid to independent living support. The agency puts “boots on the ground” with its Street Outreach program, which finds youth in places where they are at great risk, and provides survival aid and a way off the street. As well, the agency’s Teen Resource drop-in center offers food, clothing, laundry, showers, and a computer lab. The agency provides further vital services such as educational advocacy, job skill training, mental health counseling, housing support, and substance abuse treatment, in order to change the trajectory of these young people’s lives.
Proceeds from the CFS SleepOut will help the agency in its efforts to prevent youth homelessness, to address the needs of youth who become homeless, and to redirect the lives of New Hampshire’s homeless youth and empower them to become self-sufficient, contributing members of the community.
“An event like this raises our collective community consciousness about the plight and realities of homeless youth,” says Borja Alvarez de Toledo, president of Child and Family Services. “It really does prove that it only takes a small group of thoughtful, dedicated citizens to change the world, and it starts by improving the lives of youth right here in our community.”
To learn more about the CFS SleepOut 2016, and to support the agency’s work with homeless, at-risk youth, visit the CFS SLEEPOUT CAMPAIGN 2016..
RELIVE THE CFS SLEEPOUT 2016! Click here to see the photo gallery from this event. This photo gallery is for your viewing pleasure. NOTE: ALL IMAGES are the property of Child and Family Services. Images are copyright protected and are available for restricted (personal/noncommercial) use. Please contact CFS communications,
for special requests or with questions.
PHOTO (Stebbins check): Borja Alvarez de Toledo, president & CEO of Child and Family Services, with PROCON owners, Mark, Sally and Jennifer Stebbins.