2020 Backyard Winter Sleepout
The first Schools Backyard Winter Sleepout was hosted in August. A COVID safe, family friendly event which aimed to engage our younger community members in the experience of homelessness.
And this was an event unlike any other!
Connected via Zoom to our Community Manager and a young speaker who had been homeless for over 10 years, participants were challenged to undertake a series of experiences that mimicked our speaker’s life on the streets.
From being woken every hour by city noises, packing up all their gear and relocating to another sport halfway through the night as well as having to sit in wet clothes for a period of time. There was no part of this event that was made easy, and that was exactly its purpose.
This was not about raising money, although many of the teams did. This was showing young people a true lived experience of homelessness. Genuinely stepping into the shoes of another and seeing, feeling, hearing and understanding what homelessness could be like.
The feedback was humbling and inspiring.
“I realise how privileged I am and how much it wants me to help others”
“I thought I understood homelessness, I had no idea”
“I can’t just keep going through the motions of my life and not engage with what they are experiencing.”
“this is an awesome experience; it shows the truth about homelessness”
“I am so grateful that I have people that love and care for me and look after me”