GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — According to Covenant House, 4.2 million kids in America will experience homelessness this year. It’s estimated that 17,000 youths across Michigan face homelessness.

In response, Covenant House will host its annual Candlelight Vigil and Sleep Out in hopes of ending this problem for good.

The event takes place next Thursday, Nov. 19, and is open to anyone. It will happen virtually to honor those still on the streets and the ones we have lost to homelessness.

It will begin with a candlelight vigil and then everyone is encouraged to raise money from wherever they are, such as a floor, backyard, basement or couch.

Organizers say this is an important time to stand behind youth facing homelessness, especially during the pandemic.

“They’re sleeping on the streets, they’re sleeping in the parks, they’re sleeping in tents. We have a group here that is sleeping in abandoned trailers and they have none of the required situation and facilities to really be safe,” said Gerry Piro, the executive director of Covenant House Michigan.

Monday kicks off National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, with Thursday specifically designated to bring attention to homeless youth.