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

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A Quebec dairy farmers’ group is calling on milk producers to stop feeding palm oil or its derivatives to livestock as controversy churns over how these supplements affect the consistency of butter. (THE CANADIAN PRESS - Jesse Johnston)
Poll: Care to spread your feelings on butter?

Reports of hard butter have rattled the Canadian dairy industry

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Princeton has seen a 22 per cent drop in drug overdose fatalities in 2020. (File photo)
While B.C. overdose deaths soar, Princeton made a recovery in 2020

Between 2018 and 2020, eight Princeton residents died of suspected overdose.

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Options available for medical care

Telephone and online methods allow people to contact doctors

Youth from Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and the Kootenays were able to dig into two evenings of online learning and connection through United Way Southern Interior B.C.’s <CODE>anagan program. (Submitted)<code> </code>
CODEanagan gives youth a chance to learn about technology

The youth, aged 12 to 21, built their own WordPress sites and developed blogging ideas

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

(Contributed)
Kelowna flight potentially exposed to COVID-19

Third case on a local flight this month, compared to 14 through January

Vernon Search and Rescue, with help from the Air Rescue One helicopter out of Wildcat Helicopters in Kelowna, and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue, were able to transport an injured snowmobiler to Vernon Regional Airport, where he was loaded into an ambulance and taken to Vernon Jubilee Hospital with a serious, painful back injury. (Facebook photo)
Okanagan helicopter rescue teams called to retrieve injured sledder at Greystokes

Vernon and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue help load injured man into waiting helicopter

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Wills Hodgkinson, 10, and his mom Neeley Brimer get ready to battle round three of cancer. The community of Penticton has his back. (Submitted)
Community raises $21K to help Penticton boy battle third round of cancer

Okanoggin Barbers held the fundraiser on Saturday for 10-year-old Wills Hodgkinson

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
UPDATE: 70-year-old man killed in workplace accident at Baldy Mountain

The mountain closed on Saturday but has partially re-opened today (Sunday)

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

Chase RCMP held two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight in their detachment’s cells on Feb. 6. (File Photo)
Chase RCMP hold two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight

The two separate incidents took place less than an hour apart.

Most Read