To ensure you and your group are ready for your Sleep Out America experience, go through the following check-list of items and tasks.  For a printable version of this page please click here.

  1. Select your Sleep Out Location

  2. Review our suggested night-of Timeline

  3. Plan to join the Sleep Out America community online starting at 8pm local time

  4. Pack a sleeping bag and cardboard box

  5. Know the weather and dress accordingly

  6. Charge your phone

  7. Explore our videos and plan to view at least two before heading outside

  8. Print out (save to your phone) a few of our conversation starters

  9. Share your preparations and night-of experience on social media using #sleepoutamerica

  10. Plan to rejoin the Sleep Out America community online when you wake up and come back inside.

Where you sleep out is up to you. While homeless youth don’t always have options, for the purposes of your Sleep Out we ask only that you choose a safe location and one that you have permission to use. Suggested Sleep Out locations:

• Your backyard or porch

• Your driveway

• Grounds/parking lot of your organization (i.e. club, place-of-worship)*

• Grounds/parking lot of your company*

• Community facility*

*Obtain necessary approvals and permits/permissions

We recommend that you Sleep Out with three basic things:

  1. A cardboard box
  2. A sleeping bag
  3. A phone

This night is meant to be spent in solidarity, so leave any luxury bedding items - things that homeless youth wouldn’t have access to - inside.

We suggest wearing layers and considering what those in your geographic area may or may not have for a night on the streets.

We recommend that at least one member of your group bring a smart phone outside so as to document with photos and continue to upload them to social media to spread our message throughout the night.

Other items to consider bringing: a flashlight, water, or other

Once you are outside, choose and set up your sleeping spot. After you are settled, we recommend the following activities prior to heading to sleep:

  1. Take photos and post them on your social channels and be sure to tag #sleepoutamerica
  2. Use your smartphone to join the nationwide community in our online chat at sleepoutamerica.org.
  3. Use the provided Conversation Starters to have a discussion with your group about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

When you wake up, reflect on the experience a moment before packing up and heading back inside. Consider what it felt like to wake up outside and share that with your group or in our online chat before you leave your Sleep Out location.

Beginning at 6am local time, a closing video will be available on sleepoutamerica.org. Take a minute to watch it before continuing on with your day, and consider sharing it with the people who supported your Sleep Out.

Get The Word Out