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)

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)

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

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

Head Brewer Kody Rosentreter, owner Wes Greve and taproom manager Lisa Deleo celebrated North Basin Brewing’s grand opening Jan. 22 and 23, 2020. (Contributed)
Osoyoos’ first microbrewery celebrates grand opening

The brewery hopes to show that the Okanagan is more than just wine country

Once complete, the Ambrosia in Keremeos will house more than 100 seniors, families and those on disability. (LSCSS photo)
Keremeos affordable housing suites coming along

Once complete, Ambrosia will house more than 100 people

Flooding has become a reality for many communities in the Okanagan Valley as the region faces more extreme weather storms, blamed on the impact of climate change. (File photo)
Okanagan high target for spring flooding

Higher snowpack and mild winter precipitation levels raise concerns for Canada’s insurance industry

(THE NEWS – files)
Snowy days ahead for the Okanagan and Shuswap

The region could get up to 5 cm by Thursday

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Heather Barker. (File)
Manslaughter charge laid in Vernon woman’s 2018 death

Shaun Ross Wiebe, 43, faces manslaughter and assault charges related to the death of Heather Barker

Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran in his Creston home. Hanging on the wall behind him is a logo of Kachin’s Manaw festival. Photo: Aaron Hemens
From Myanmar to Creston: The story of a refugee

In October 2007, Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran and his friends encountered a woman being sexually assaulted by two Myanmar soldiers.

Kamloops This Week.
48 COVID-19 cases and one death associated with outbreak at Kamloops hospital

One of the 20 patients infected has died, meanwhile 28 staff with COVID-19 are isolating at home

The City of Vernon is sending a letter to the provincial government to request that church be deemed an essential service amid the pandemic. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon mayor scolded for revealing stance on making church essential

Coun. Scott Anderson calls Cummings’ actions ‘arrogant’

The scene of a serious crash on Highway 33 in Kelowna that killed one and severely injured two others on June 20, 2018. (File)
Driver found guilty of causing death, injury in 2018 Kelowna crash

Travis Ryan Hennessy will face sentencing at a later date

(Michael Rodriguez - Capital News staff)
Downtown stairwell fire suspicious, Kelowna RCMP say

Crews were called to Gotham Nightclub for a report of a stairwell fire

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna, West Kelowna still looking to opt-out of speculation tax

Mayors say spec tax has missed the mark, revenue largely coming out of Canadians’ pockets

Most Read