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Professor Werhan sleeping out to aid homeless youth

November 18, 2014

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Tulane Law Professor Keith Werhan is taking part in the Nov. 20 “Sleep Out” to benefit Covenant House and homeless youths.

Photo by Kathy Anderson 

Tulane Law Professor Keith Werhan specializes in First Amendment law and federal regulation. He also teaches a popular yoga class several times each semester, usually when students seem to need de-stressing the most.

On Nov. 20, he’ll be conveying yet a different kind of lesson: sleeping outside to help raise awareness about New Orleans’ homeless youths.

Werhan is taking part in the Covenant House Sleep Out, a fundraising effort for a facility that in New Orleans shelters more than 100 young people a night. Covenant House New Orleans, founded in 1994, serves homeless and at-risk youths ages 16-21. The staff works to reunite the youths with their families, but if that isn’t possible, the team helps them to stabilize their lives, through education, jobs and eventually an independent place to live. Covenant House relies primarily on charitable donations for funding.

The Covenant House Sleep Out to Support Homeless Youth is scheduled the same night in 15 cities across the North America, from Anchorage, Alaska, to Orlando, Florida, from Toronto, Canada, to Los Angeles, California. The Covenant House network encompasses houses in 27 cities in the U.S., Canada and Latin America.

A key goal of the sleep out, Werhan said, is to “send a message that there is a hopeful future for these kids.”

Those sleeping out are paired with residents and spend a significant part of the evening learning about them and their lives. 

“It provides an experience for us that … will help us experience what we’re supporting,” Werhan said.

Each participant has a fundraising page online. As of Nov. 18, Werhan had raised 78 percent of his goal.

The New Orleans weather forecast for Nov. 20 is a low of 53 degrees with no chance of rain.


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