On November 21, 2019, Tracie Hazelwood, Client Accounts and Solutions Manager for First Financial Asset Management, or FFAM360, participated in Covenant House Georgia’s Sleep Out to support homeless youth in Atlanta, GA.
The Sleep Out Movement takes place across the United States and Canada as an act of solidarity to show homeless youth unconditional love and absolute respect. Participants are challenged to sleep outside for one night at a Covenant House site, private backyards, school grounds, and safe community spaces. Sleep Out participants use a piece of cardboard and a sleeping bag to sleep outside in a safe location. Through Sleep Out, participants become advocates for homeless youth and raise funds for Covenant House.
It is estimated that 4.2 million youth experience homelessness each year. Of those 4.2 million, some 700,000 youth are unaccompanied, or without a parent or guardian. Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago conducted an extensive examination of homeless youth called the Voices of Youth Count and found that approximately one in 30 youth aged 13-17 will experience some form of unaccompanied homelessness in a year. On any given night, there are around 41,000 unaccompanied youth homeless and sleeping on the streets in the United States.
Covenant House Introduction
Active in many community organizations, Ms. Hazelwood was introduced to Covenant House in 2018 through an industry colleague. She immediately became an active supporter through a food donation at Christmastime. As a result of discussions with her colleague at various conferences throughout the year, Ms. Hazelwood made the commitment to participate in the Sleep Out Movement.
Sleep Out Experience
On the evening of the November 21st Sleep Out, Ms. Hazelwood and the other participants joined Covenant House youth in a candlelit vigil. During the vigil, the name of each youth who returned to the streets or didn’t make it was spoken aloud in a time of remembrance. After the somber vigil, Sleep Out participants and Covenant House youth shared a meal together, exchanged stories, and took a tour of the Covenant House Georgia facility. Before it was time to sleep, the youth performed a variety show, showcasing each child’s talent. At bedtime, the noises of the city made for a restless night which is typical for children living on the streets.
Covenant House Georgia
In 2019, Covenant House Georgia served more than 1000 of the 3,300 homeless youths in the Atlanta, GA area. Providing safe shelter, clothes, food, medical exams, and more, Covenant House Georgia provides services and safety for children to reach their fullest potential— finishing high school, starting college, gaining employment, living independently, and ultimately stepping out into the world to find success.
Ms. Hazelwood is raising funds for Covenant House through December 31, 2019. If you would like to donate, please visit Tracie Hazelwood’s Donation Page. For more information on Covenant House, please visit covenanthouse.org.
About Covenant House
Covenant House is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides a continuum of care for homeless children. For over 40 years, Covenant House has provided educational programs, job training and placement, medical services, mental health and substance abuse counseling, legal aid and beyond, to help young people embrace the great promise of their lives, overcome steep barriers to independence, and strive to achieve their aspirations. Covenant House shelters and cares for homeless and trafficked youth in 31 cities across 6 countries.
The FFAM360 group of companies deploys world-class people, operations, and technology to deliver revenue cycle solutions to their clients that optimize their credit and revenue lifecycles. Founded in 2002 with the vision of creating a best-in-class organization that provides comprehensive solutions across the Insurance Subrogation, Healthcare, Staffing, and Financial Service sectors, FFAM360 has achieved many significant awards and recognitions including being honored by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (“WBENC”) as a Certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise. FFAM360 is headquartered just outside Atlanta, GA with additional offices in Phoenix, AZ and Paso Robles, CA.