top of page

History of One Night Without a Bed

Since launching Detroit Phoenix Center in 2017, founder and CEO Courtney Smith has been looking for ways to increasingly amplify the voices and lived experiences of Detroit youth experiencing homelessness. Each November marks National Runaway Prevention Month, a public awareness campaign led by the National Runaway Safeline. Having Detroit Phoenix Center host One Night Without a Bed during this month ensured it would not only have broader reach, but contribute to the important dialogue around the safety and well-being needs of youth who had largely been unseen, unheard, and without advocates.

The 2021 inaugural event was a successful virtual community gathering that further fed Courtney’s desire to see her vision fully realized. In 2023 that goal was largely achieved with a hybrid event that included impact stories from DPC youth, guest speakers, an artistic expression showcase and artist performances, guided healing circles and exercises, activities and games, a service project, and an awards ceremony and “Breakfast of Champions.”

Our goal, with your help, is to keep elevating each instance of this event in the same way we want to elevate the lives of the youth in our city who are experiencing homelessness.

"ONWAB is a celebration of the spirit of giving, of coming together to make a difference in the lives of those who need it the most. It's a chance for our community to wrap its arms around these young individuals and offer not just financial support, but also emotional warmth."

- Detroit Phoenix Center Founder & CEO Courtney Smith

bottom of page