ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- More than 30 area leaders decided to give up the comforts of home to spend the night on the cold concrete of a north St. Louis parking lot.
Covenant House, a nonprofit that helps homeless youth, invited area leaders to spend the night out in the cold.
The idea was for leaders to understand what homeless youth are dealing with and to dispel misconceptions.
Leaders received a tour of Covenant House and then met with some of the clients the agency has helped.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce was among the leaders who accepted the invitation.
'We have no inkling of what it`s really like for these kids out on the street,' said Joyce.
Mikelle Collins was once homeless but credits Covenant House for turning his life around. He was impressed to see how many leaders turned out to spend the night in the cold.
'That`s pretty amazing that people would actually be willing to leave the comfort of their own home and the safety of their own bed,' said Collins.
Sue Wagener is the executive director of Covenant House. She hopes leaders will also learn what it takes to help homeless youth.
'All they need is the structure, support and guidance that most kids get from their parents at home,' said Wagener.
She says thousand of kids have been helped through programs offered by the Covenant House.
The city`s top prosecutor believes the agency`s efforts are a way to fight crime.
'I see too many kids victimized who are out on the street and I also see too many kids drawn into a life of crime,' said Joyce.
She said anyone who complains about crime has an opportunity to help by supporting Covenant House.
For more information about Covenant House visit www.covenanthousemo.org.