World's Big Sleepout | Depaulcharity

Depaul helps people who are homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged.

World's Big Sleepout

On Saturday, 7 December, the world united to help fight homelessness with what is thought to be the largest charitable fundraising campaign in a generation. The World’s Big Sleep Out took place in over 50 locations around the world. Depaul charities across the globe participated.

Research by our partner the Institute of Global Homelessness shows that figures have reached a new level with more than a 100 million people homeless and displaced around the world.

A host of celebrities, musicians, Olympians, acting royalty, top broadcasters and influential politicians took part in sleep out events on the night, as part of an overall number of 50,000 people, creating the world’s largest display of solidarity to those experiencing homelessness and displacement.

Will Smith and Dame Helen Mirren led the way by telling a bedtime story in Times Square (New York) and Trafalgar Square (London) respectively. On Saturday 7th December, presenter and model Lisa Snowdon, six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy MBE, ITV News Presenter Julie Etchingham, singer Jamelia, author Giovanna Fletcher, Chief Fire Officer Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton and TV and radio presenters Kate Garraway, Cherry Healey, Angela Scanlon and Anita Rani also stood together and supported the event.

There was also stripped back, live acoustic music performances throughout the world from top musicians.

The Board of The World’s Big Sleep Out Trust is chaired by Depaul International trustee and world-renowned homelessness expert Dame Louise Casey.

Cities and towns which took part included: London (Trafalgar Square and The Oval), New York (Times Square), Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Chicago, Cardiff, Newcastle, Newport, Brighton, Manchester, Los Angeles, New Delhi, Vina Del Mar, Madrid, Rijeka, Kharkiv, Brisbane, Manila, Cebu, Amsterdam, Patna, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Visakhapatnam, Guntur, Chennai, Coimbatore, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Philadelphia, San Jose (Costa Rica), Malibu and Singapore.

Depaul charities across the world and our partner the Institute of Global Homelessness were beneficiaries of the fundraising effort. As well as benefiting local charities, international partners for the campaign included UNICEF USA, Malala Fund alongside the Institute of Global Homelessness.

As well as private individuals, the campaign was backed by some of the world’s largest companies and charitable foundations. Organisations supporting the campaign included Nasdaq, eBay, Weightwatchers, WPP, CYBG and Microsoft. Oak Foundation also pledged $1million to the campaign.


The Depaul Sleepout returns in 2020. More information will be released closer to the event. Please contact Jason Eades to register your interest.

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