Sisters-in-law Heidi Routley of Vernon (left) and Kiley Routley of Lavington successfully slept outside Friday, July 10, to raise money and awareness for Covenant House Vancouver, a society that works with and for homeless youth. The pair lasted 12 hours with nothing more than a tent, piece of cardboard and small pillow, but raised nearly $2,400. (Photo contributed)

North Okanagan sisters-in-law sleep out successful

Kiley Routley and Heidi Routley raise nearly $2,400 and awareness for youth homelessness

Save for a noisy bird that wouldn’t stop chirping and singing, two North Okanagan women’s goal to bring awareness to youth homelessness was a success.

Coldstream’s Kiley Routley, and her sister-in-law, Heidi Routley, of Vernon, slept – well, slept a little – under the stars overnight Friday, July 10, to raise money and awareness for Covenant House in Vancouver.

“That bloody bird, I almost went out to have it out with them,” laughed Kiley Routley Sunday morning, 24 hours after she and Heidi spent 12 rather sleepless hours in a tent behind Kiley’s Back To Earth organic shop production facility beside Highway 6 in Lavington.

The pair voluntarily gave up the comforts of their own beds to take part in Covenant House’s Sleep Out. Covenant House exists for young people for whom there is often no one else; young people aged 16 – 24 who have fled physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse, those who have been forced from their homes or those who have aged out of foster care.

The Routleys raised $2,390 which will go toward helping counsel 10-to-12 youth who have no homes.

Friday evening started with a Zoom presentation from Covenant House with everybody participating in the Sleep Out. At about 9 p.m., the sisters-in-law entered their tent – many homeless youth sleep on the streets in tents as it’s the only thing they own – and got into their sleeping bags, and tried to sleep in the bags which were atop pieces of cardboard.

Along with the bird, the women were also kept awake by vehicles honking support, vehicles racing by the shop on Highway 6 throughout the evening and morning, the nearby lumber mill and pellet plant in operation, and by the thoughts of B.C. youth in every community sleeping on the streets night after night.

“After one night, we were exhausted, yet there’s youth who do this night after night, and you feel how that would break a person down and not feel totally loved,” said Kiley.

“It was an incredible, humbling experience. We were excited to bring awareness to homelessness. It’s a reality in every community.”

The pair exited the tent at 9 a.m. Saturday.

“We both went home to sleep,” said Kiley. “We were wrecked emotionally.”

Still, the Routleys called the Sleep Out a great experience, though admitted to feeling nervous about not being in their bedrooms.

“We thought about the people living in tents on the street and people coming into their tents and stealing their belongings,” said Kiley.

The pair are thinking about organizing a local Sleep Out event, possibly to be held in Vernon.

Covenant House relies on the generosity of more than 55,000 individuals and organizations to provide shelter, food, clothing and counselling to over 1,100 youth each year.

READ MORE: North Okanagan relatives to sleep outside for homeless youth



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

charityHomelessness

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A portion of Pelmewash Parkway was closed briefly Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, while Lake Country Fire Department and RCMP responded to rescue an eight-month-old puppy stuck on a cliff. (District of Lake Country - Facebook)
Happy ending to Lake Country puppy rescue

A portion of Pelmewash Parkway was closed briefly Wednesday as fire, RCMP responded to rescue mission

Vernon shops like Expressions of Time have shown their strength, resiliency and adaptability amid the COVID-19 crisis. (Facebook)
COLUMN: A toast to small businesses in Vernon

Show local business some love this Small Business Week

File Photo.
BOOMER TALK: Talking back

Columnist Carole Fawcett responds to feedback over ‘Are you Sheeple?’ column

The Brown Derby’s Mysterioso was one of three entries in the 2020 Armstrong Professional Grilled Cheese Sandwich competition held Tuesday, Oct. 20. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Bakery gets judges’ attention in Armstrong pro grilled cheese sandwich event

Country Bakery’s German Kase Pretzel Grilled Cheese oozes past Brown Derby, Wild Oak Café

A power outage caused by a vehicle crash affected 2,178 BC Hydro customers in Enderby Wednesday night, Oct. 21, 2020. (BC Hydro image)
Vehicle crash in Enderby knocks out power for more than 2,000

BC Hydro crews are expected to arrive by 6:30 p.m.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is seen as she leaves media event during a campaign stop in West Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green leader hopes voters see value in minority government

The Greens received nearly 17 per cent of the popular vote in 2017 yet received just three seats

Local candidates Pam Alexis, Abbotsford-Mission, and Preet Rai, Abbotsford-West, look on as NDP Leader John Horgan main streets in Abbotsford, B.C., Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. NDP takes snap election risk during pandemic in quest for majority government

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said the election was unnecessary and irresponsible during the pandemic

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, B.C., on October 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. Liberal Leader maintains confidence as campaign tests party identity

Liberal campaign has been disrupted by controversy

(Kelowna Capital News)
B.C. Labour Board orders Peachland cannabis company to reinstate laid-off employees

The B.C. Labour Relations Board determined the employees were laid off due to their plan to unionize

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Two pigs roam the Salmon Arm Walmart parking lot during a prior visit photographed by Danielle Burgi. (Danielle Burgi photo)
Pigs trot over for a visit at Salmon Arm shopping centre

Employees say this was the second drop-in from the temporarily free-range porkers

Most Read