Why Trevor Bentley is Sleeping Outside
Being homeless is not something I’d wish on anybody. I’ve had two bouts of homelessness, spending about two years living on the street when I lost my housing. I had been put in foster care at age 11, and so I had no safety net to fall back on. Out on the street, all I had was a blanket from Youth Unlimited and my backpack for a pillow.
I want to sleep outside on November 19 to remind other homeless youth that they are not alone.
In my experience, people sleeping on the streets are good people with good hearts. A common misconception is that homeless people are to blame for their situation, but for the most part, these people are trapped in a situation they can’t get out of, or lack the support to overcome it. This could be anything from addiction, abuse, mental health, disability or trauma.
I have a friend who lost his wife, fell into a deep depression after her passing and never received the proper help. He ended up losing his job, house and entire life as a result.
I remember the cold nights outside thinking, am I going to get hypothermia? Am I going to die in my sleep? It scared me, it scared me a lot.
When I was homeless, Youth Unlimited didn’t yet have its MY House program for homeless youth. Had they, it would have changed my life. They provide support services, meals, showers/hygiene products, and medical care.
I’m sleeping outside to help others who were like me, to help provide the funds to run these critical programs, and I want other homeless youth to see that they are not alone.