Youth Lockout Raises Awareness of Homelessness

Sacred Heart Catholic School held a lockout on Friday, Jan. 9 to help 7th and 8th grade students understand what those regularly “locked out,” the homeless, experience.


Approximately 30 students, ages 12-14, slept outdoors in cardboard boxes at Sacred Heart Catholic School.

An evening of activities designed to give youth “a slight glimpse into the lives of those who have to depend on others for food and shelter” was planned. The lockout started at 8 p.m. and ended at 5 a.m. Saturday morning.

The Lockout was held with two different goals in mind. First, Sacred Heart Catholic School was trying to raise awareness of what homeless families face. The second goal was to raise funds to help pay for a program called “The Million Meal Challenge.” Representatives from the organization come to your location and provide you with all of the tools needed for a service project to feed the hungry by measuring and packaging food as a team.

Youth were encouraged to ask family and friends to sponsor them for the event. Another fundraising aspect of the event was that participants were able to pay for “luxuries,” such as the use of blankets or sweatshirts, during the lockout. A little more than $3,000 was raised. All the sweaters, blankets, and sleeping bags collected were donated to a local homeless shelter in Daytona Beach.

The students learned many things at the homeless lockout event. Perhaps the most important of these was the fact that helping others and being compassionate is truly acting the way Christ did and the way we should strive to live our lives every day.

Article written by Delaney, 8th grader, Sacred Heart Catholic School, New Smyrna Beach