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Covenant House's annual sleep out fundraiser smashes $615,000 goal

This fundraiser is about more than just raising money - it's about solidarity with homeless youth.

NEW ORLEANS — Nearly 200 people slept outside overnight in New Orleans for Covenant House's annual Sleep Out fundraiser.

The event raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for the organization, but this fundraiser is about more than just raising money - it's about solidarity with homeless youth.

"It's all about being in support and solidarity with young people who face these challenges every day," Covenant House executive director Rhneisha Robertson. 

Since its inception in 2012, more than 1,500 businesses and community leaders have participated in the annual sleep-out, raising $4.6 million for Covenant House.

This year, folks began sleeping out around 9 p.m. Thursday in some chilly conditions but raising more than $700,000, topping the organization's goal of $615,000. The money goes on to help not only teens but also young adults with services. Covenant house goes beyond being a shelter but a home with a host of resources for the community.

"I know it sounds corny, but it gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling, especially when it's a little chilly outside," Kerry Foley-Kessler said who participated this year. "I think the New Orleans community if you really think about it, we've always taken care of each other."

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