A handful of New Jersey legislators will be sleeping out on the Statehouse lawn to call attention to the plight of homeless teenagers.

Spencer Platt, Getty Images

Friday night's legislative sleep out is a fundraiser for Covenant House, a leading provider of services for homeless, runaway and trafficked children in New Jersey, nationally and internationally.

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, a Republican from Monmouth County, says she got involved because of the life-changing work of Covenant House.

The organization is run by New Jersey's onetime child advocate, Kevin Ryan.

Another sleep out participant, Assemblywoman Celeste Riley, a Democrat representing Cumberland County, notes that not all homeless youth are runaways. She says many become homeless because of poverty, parental unemployment or sexual or physical abuse at home.

 

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