Anglicare Sleep Out

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Anglicare Sleep Out

On Friday 4 August, several Guild members, three Anglicare Ambassadors and myself had the opportunity to participate in the second Anglicare Sleep Out. We spent the night sleeping under the concourse at the NIB Stadium. We only had our sleeping bags, clothes and a piece of cardboard. Throughout the night we experienced many of the struggles a street present young person might face - finding somewhere to sleep out of the wind and rain, move on notices from security guards as well as bright lights and noises during the night. All of these factors amounted to a stressful and uncertain night - we were never sure if we were going to be able to get any sleep where we were, and became nervous every time someone walked past us because we didn't know what they were going to do.

Before we went to sleep we took part in a game organised by Anglicare which was designed to emulate the struggles of homelessness. We were given a card with several requirements on it including ID, Centrelink Youth Allowance, food vouchers, clothes vouchers, soup kitchen dinner and emergency accommodation - all things a street present person would need to obtain. In order to achieve these things we had to move between stations such as 'Centrelink office' or 'crisis accommodation' and it was far more difficult than we could have possibly imagined. No team was able to achieve more than a couple of items. During the game the Street Connect team were present to help us and this really highlighted for us the wonderful work they do. They were able to explain to us all the documents we would need, where we needed to go and how to get the things we needed. The whole experience was incredibly enlightening. We learned so much about all the issues street present young people face both physically trying to look after themselves, and mentally, facing huge amounts of stress each day.

Overall we were able to raise over $300, which I am incredibly proud of. I'd like to extend a huge thank you to Ms Kirton, Father David and everyone who took part or donated. Thanks particularly to the other participants: Yingying, Sebastian, Gabriella, Alexander, Caitlin, Christel, Natalie and Emily.

Isabel Moss - Service Captain