Broadway stars sleeping outside to raise awareness for homelessness

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NEW YORK (PIX11) -- Just steps away from the glitz and glamor of Times Square, dozens of Broadway artists will be sleeping outside on the ground Sunday night to raise awareness for homelessness.

Actors and actresses are used to getting the A-list treatment. Instead of spending the night on stage on Broadway, they're hitting the pavement on 41st and 10th, armed only with a cardboard box and a sleeping bag.

Some of Broadway's finest like actor Denis O'Hare will be sleeping on the cold ground. It's not research for a new role, he's participating in  Covenant House's "Sleep Out"  to help eliminate the stigma attached to homelessness.

"Unlike a stray dog, people aren't quite as generous when it comes to stray people. And I always find that weird. Why is it that we always blame the victim when it comes to kids or adults who are homeless?" he said.

Covenant House's Sleep Out: Broadway Edition is a one night fundraising event where formerly homeless teens get a chance to meet Broadway talent and tell their personal journeys of living on the streets. For actress Stephanie Block who is participating for the second time, it's an event that changed her views.

"I always decided, you know they're homeless, they must have made some poor choices. Or you know, what led you here. And hearing these stories completely redefined what that is for me. Especially hearing them from the voice of the youth."

The event aims to help New York City kids like Grace and Bnaiah. Grace arrived at covenant house just two weeks ago, and is surprised at the outpouring of support.

"Its a great opportunity for us to realize that there are other people out there who notice what we're going through," she said.