An estimated 200 people spent the night sleeping outside in South Surrey on Nov. 5, 2018 as part of Joseph Richard Group’s second annual event that raised more than $150,000 for youth homelessness. This year, organizers hope to raise even more through the effort. (Photos: Submitted, Facebook)

Joseph Richard Group

‘One Night Out’: Sleeping outside in Surrey for youth homelessness

In 2018, 200 people spent the night sleeping in a parking lot for restaurant franchise’s fundraising effort

For the third year in a row, a Surrey-based restaurant chain is challenging its employees and the public to sleep outside in an effort to raise funds – and awareness – for youth homelessness.

The event, called One Night Out, is an initiative of restaurant franchise giant Joseph Richard Group (JRG).

Last year, an estimated 200 people bundled up and spent the night on the pavement in the parking lot of Grandview Corners Shopping Centre, next to JRG’s S + L Kitchen & Bar, raising more than $156,000 for Covenant House Vancouver and Youth Unlimited.

This year, the same organizations are set to benefit, but two new ones have been added: Variety The Children’s Charity and City Dream Centre.

Ryan Moreno, CEO of JRG, explained the company has “strong ties” to the four organizations.

“Ultimately the goal is every year we do it, these are the four charities that we would be doing it for. We’re not looking to expand it more, but these four, we know them really well,” he said. “Very much these are the ones that are near and dear to us. Let’s plant our flag. This is what One Night Out will be going forward.”

The idea for the event was born after Moreno participated in Covenant House Vancouver’s Sleep Out: Executive Edition a few years ago and felt that more could be done.

“I told them I wanted to make it bigger and do more. They probably thought I was crazy but we went and organized the whole thing,” he told the Now-Leader.

“That first year that I participated there was a presentation they were going and they quoted a number of between 700 to 800 youth are on the street at any given time,” Moreno said, adding that he hopes to grow participation in the event to match that head count.

“This is probably one of the best, if not the best thing that we’ve done as a team builder for our company. The majority of our staff that work with us are part-time. That’s the nature of this business. But they’ll always remember their time with JRG because of this experience. It’s life-changing,” he said.

Moreno said it’s also been inspiring to see children take part, but also, their reactions to the experience.

His son participated in the 2018 event, along with roughly a dozen more children under the age of 12.

“My son went to school the next day,” said Moreno, adding that was despite being given the option to skip school for that day. “I called him at the end of the day and he said, ‘I really appreciate my bed, dad.’ For an eight year old? It’s just so genuine. It’s from their core.”

JRG’s website notes that its “philanthropic mission” is based on statistics provided by the charitable groups they support, including that between 500 to 1,000 young people live on the streets in the Lower Mainland.

“We hope our fundraising efforts will help prevent and reduce the number of youth who are suffering,” the post reads. “Many youths are re-victimized on the streets, having fled one unsafe situation only to find another. Families in our province are raising children with special needs and limited support. Children in our communities are going to school hungry, without proper self-care resources.”

As of Nov. 4 this year, more than $32,000 had already been raised. Donations to the cause can be made at onenightout.ca.

The event will take place from 9 p.m. on Nov. 18 to 6 a.m. on Nov. 19 at S + L Kitchen & Bar at 16051 24th Ave.

“Anybody reading this article, anybody in the community who wants to take part and get a group together, please join us. It’s all about getting the community together,” said Moreno.

JRG is made up of more than 25 public houses, restaurants and liquor retail outlets in BC and Alberta.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey MLA Jinny Sims cleared of criminal wrongdoing

She resigned her cabinet post during RCMP investigation

Boundary Bay Airshow latest Delta event cancelled due to COVID-19

Airshow joins the Delta Triathlon, Tour de Delta and North Delta Family Day on list of cancellations

North Delta crime beat, week of March 22

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

South Delta crime beat, week of March 22

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Surrey councillors say halt policing transition as 2,000-plus workers laid off

City of Surrey has reportedly laid off 1,900 part-time auxiliary workers and 140 full-time employees because of the pandemic

From inside the ER: B.C. doctor tells it like it is from the frontlines of COVID-19

‘Stay home. It’s working,’ says ER doctor in a Q&A discussion, ‘And please don’t worry.’

BREAKING: COVID-19 case diagnosed at Abbotsford rehabilitation residence

First Abbotsford care home to have confirmed COVID-19 case

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Dogs are property, not kids, B.C. judge tells former couple

Court decision made on competing lawsuits over Zeus and Aurora — a pit bull and pit bull cross

B.C. senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Trudeau commits $100M to help food banks amid COVID-19 crisis

Funds will help ‘urgent food needs’ for Canadians awaiting federal emergency benefits to kick in

Captain America joins friendly Abbotsford Spider-Man to take down trash

Local garbage crew bringing smiles to city amid pandemic

Couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas: Cowichan by-law

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Most Read