Vic Mensa has had his hand in philanthropy since the start of his career, often hosting giveaways and fundraisers in his home state of Chicago. In his most recent initiative, The Autobiography rapper hosted a sleep out to assist Covenant House Illinois and Chicago’s homeless youth, earning over $15,000 for the cause.
According to Mensa, he was throwing out some old clothes one day when a homeless person asked if there were any coats in his trash. The encounter inspired him to “prioritize homelessness this winter,” thus his participation in Covenant House’s annual Sleep Out Chicago charity event.
During last week’s live-streamed fundraiser — a collaboration between Mensa, SaveMoneySaveLife Foundation and Covenant House Illinois — the emcee spent a night in the life of a homeless person and slept outdoors in attempt to “bring awareness to the Black youth experiencing a disproportionately higher rate of homelessness in this country,” per his Instagram post. Thanks to his assistance, the event raised more than $15,000, surpassing their $10,000 goal.
“Waking up on 47th Street this morning was kinda surreal,” Mensa wrote on Instagram following his experience. “So many of us go our whole lives in arms length distance of people living on the streets, but a single night in their experience is almost unfathomable.”
He continued, “It just made me think about days I’ve been low, depressed and tired of struggling, days when I felt glued to my bed. And it made me imagine what it would be like for an individual that feels that more than they feel anything else. Huge thanks to everyone who supported the Sleep Out and made donations, brought food or just showed up to kick it.”
Mensa’s decision to join in hosting this year’s Sleep Out event is his latest attempt to give back to his community. He’s hosted over 50 charity events since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic.