Star-studded online party benefits charity that helps homeless youths in DC area & worldwide

covenant house
Young people participate in a training class before the pandemic at the CHGW Community Services Center in D.C. (Courtesy CHGW)

A star-packed coronavirus concert Monday night, featuring music and celebrities, will raise money and awareness for an international organization that has helped D.C.-area youth for 25 years.

Covenant House works in six countries to give housing, food and health care to children and youth facing homelessness in 31 cities now stressed by the pandemic.

“This virus raged into our lives, and turned the world upside down,” Covenant House president and CEO Kevin Ryan said in a news release.

Tiffany White, a staff at Covenant House of Greater Washington, demonstrates how to wear a mask. (Courtesy CHGW)

To raise money, the charity will hold “A Night of Covenant House Stars” on Monday at 8 p.m. The show will be streaming on Amazon Prime Video, Broadway on Demand, iHeartRadio Broadway, Facebook, Twitch, YouTube and Stars in the House.

“These artists are responding with hope, compassion, music, laughter and love. And that’s how the world will overcome,” Ryan said.

Among those taking part are Morgan Freeman, Jon Bon Jovi, Meryl Streep, Dolly Parton, Audra McDonald, Diane Keaton, Stephen Colbert, Martin Short, Rachel Brosnahan, Robin Thicke, Randy Jackson, Zac Levy and John Dickerson.

Some Covenant Houses serve kids as young as 16. Covenant House of Greater Washington, or CHGW, works with people 18-24 years old.

“We had a need for additional resources and volunteers and supplies and all those things before the pandemic, and now it’s no different. It’s just been increased,” Covenant House of Greater Washignton CEO Angela Jones Hackley said.

“In the first week where we did shutdown, we saw our food bill go up 50%,” Hackley said, because youth in the residential facilities who were no longer going to work or school during the day needed to be fed.

CHGW is based in D.C., but serves youth from across the region who are facing homelessness, disconnection and exploitation.

“We believe that we are a family, and we wrap our kids around supportive services and act more like a village for them,” Hackley said.

Five CHGW residential facilities in five locations help with, residential services, job training, workforce readiness, life-skills training, case management and mental health therapy.

In addition to those served at the residential centers, youth in the community who need day services can go to a drop-in center to do laundry, get meals or visit with staff for a pep talk.

“Our longer-term mission and goal is to create a movement so we reduce the need, at least for our residential services, so that we make youth homelessness in the D.C. area brief, rare and nonrecurrent,” Hackley said.

Talking about the role Covenant House plays trying to make the world a better place by helping children and youth, Hackley said, “We meet them were they are; we serve them with unconditional love and support, and that is what unites all of us across the organization.”

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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