Yanks GM supports homeless youth with some Manhattan camping
By Bryan Hoch
NEW YORK -- As Brian Cashman prepared for his sixth evening wriggling into a sleeping bag under the Manhattan sky, he made sure to charge his cell phone and to pack an extra battery. The first five times taught him that there is no rest to be had on that cold, hard pavement.
"I'm not going to sleep. You can't sleep on the street," the Yankees general manager said. "No one should have to go through what these kids go through. I'll be up and if anybody on the West Coast wants to deal with me after normal East Coast hours, I'll be ready for it."
Hours after completing a trade that sent seven-time All-Star Brian McCann to the Astros for two Minor League pitching prospects, Cashman participated in the Covenant House Sleep Out and Vigil on Thursday evening. He joined more than 1,000 executives in 18 cities across the United States and Canada who are trying to raise awareness and more than $6 million for homeless youth.
"These kids are just looking for an opportunity, a chance, for people to take a chance on them and show them the love that most of us have all had," Cashman said. "I'm telling you, if they get it, they're going to do great things. This organization is about providing opportunity to kids that haven't been given the same chance that the rest of us had."
Cashman serves on Covenant House's board and said that Thursday's Manhattan event alone could raise $1.5 million for the cause to help protect homeless youth, assist in education, seek employment and, ultimately, long-term housing.
"Our goal is nothing less than to end youth homelessness," said Covenant House president Kevin Ryan. "We have a lot of work do to on a lot of fronts, but there is no reason that children should be homeless on the streets. I dream of the day we can close Covenant House because our shelters are no longer necessary, and our Sleep Out movement makes that a little closer to reality."
Cashman also participated in a vigil in New York's Herald Square, featuring formerly homeless youth sharing their stories of hope. Cashman said that getting to know the children and share in their lives has been rewarding, and he thanked the Steinbrenner family for allowing him to participate in Covenant House's mission.
"I appreciate the fact that the New York Yankees have allowed Covenant House to plug into the Yankee brand to shine a light on the great work they're doing here and all over North America," Cashman said.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.