1. What is SleepOut for Shelter?
Think of this question - If you could choose to spend one night outside so that others were not forced to, would you do it?

SleepOut for Shelter is a communitywide, educational experience and fundraiser designed to give participants a small sense of what it would feel like to be homeless.  It brings attention to an issue that most people rarely think about.

You, as the participants of the event, will bring awareness to an issue that is often overlooked.  You will ask people to support your efforts and "sponsor" you to sleep outside.

We can also have some fun with the event!  Thanks to Six Flags Great America, our host site this year, you will get some EXCLUSIVE RIDE TIME AFTER HOURS!
2. What's the timeframe for the event?
The registration and check-in for the event starts at 6:00pm on Friday, June 9.  See the Details of Event page for what happens when.  But the SleepOut will conclude by 6:00am on Saturday, June 10.

​Participants will also earn a ticket to Six Flags Great America to be used on a regular day through September 4.
3. When is the registration deadline?
  • Participants must sign up by Monday, June 5. 
  • The minimum $100 must be collected by Wednesday, June 7.
  • Additional funds may be raised up until the time of the event.
4. How do I collect funds?
There are any number of ways - you can collect the funds yourself in cash or check (payable to PADS Lake County) and bring them to the event.  Or, you can use the Donate to a Sleeper function of this website.  People can contribute directly to you online!
5. What can I do to raise funds?
Be creative!  There is really no restriction on what you can do.  Check out the Fundraising Tips page for some ideas.  Ask family, friends, co-workers to sponsor you.  Post it on Facebook.  Make your own GoFundMe page.  Let us know if you have any great ideas!
6. Do I get to go on rides at Six Flags Great America?
Of course!!!  The 4D ride, JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis will be open after hours EXCLUSIVELY for participants in the SleepOut for Shelter.

In addition, Giant Drop and Raging Bull will be open as well for participants only.  There will be other games and activities throughout the evening.

Plus, you can go on rides using your park ticket during regular hours.
7. Where am I actually sleeping?
The exact location will be inside the park in an enclosed area - but it will be outside, and you will be on the ground.

This is the challenge that persons experiencing homelessness face, and it's just a small glimpse into their world.  You can bring a sleeping bag or blanket to sleep on the ground.  You may also bring a pop-up tent if it is small and you can carry it - nothing may be staked into the ground.

Remember, you are asking people to sponsor you in this SleepOut.  You are sleeping outside, on the ground, for just one night - so that others don't have to.
8. Are there any age restrictions?
SleepOut is open to all ages.  Groups with youth under 18 years of age require one chaperone (21+) for every six youth.

We've had everyone from toddlers to senior citizens in the past, and everyone in between.
9. What can I bring with me?
Six Flags Great America has park policies that you can find at https://www.sixflags.com/greatamerica/plan-your-visit/park-policies.  Please review these carefully.

For the event itself (not the use of the ticket), there are some exceptions below.  You may ONLY bring these items in through the registration booth (details to come), but may not bring them in to the park:
  • Blankets, sleeping bags, or pop-up tents
  • Limited food and beverages, but no alcohol
  • Small coolers
  • Flashlights
All bags are subject to search, and items may be rejected at the sole discretion of PADS Lake County and/or Six Flags staff.

Finally, all items must be removed from the park at the end of the event.