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Officers and Youth Sleep Outside to Raise Awareness

Officers, youth and members of the West Perth Youth Centre will be sleeping out side on Friday night at the Mitchell OPP detachment.

MITCHELL - Members of the Perth OPP, their families, local youth and the West Perth Youth Centre will be sleeping outside to raise awareness about poverty. 

They will be doing the sleepout on Friday night at the Mitchell OPP detachment. The officers were inspired by Joe Roberts, who knows what it's like to be homeless and is currently pushing a shopping cart across Canada. Constable Kees Wijands tells the River they will be collecting food donations and cash. 

"We're trying to do this to raise funds, raise awareness, the funds were raising will be directed to the West Perth Youth Centre which of course assists youth and tries to find community services for these youth."  

Wijands says they will be building shelters using large carboard boxes and sleeping on picnic tables.

West Perth Sgt. Manny Coelho says they are hoping to create a discussion about youth homelessness. 

"This sleep-out event has been organized to raise awareness about youth homelessness, which is not just a big city problem. It occurs in Perth County, and our officers have seen how devastating the effects can be on them. By not having a permanent home, or as they couch surf, these young people face great risks and are much more vulnerable." 

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