The 2019 Lifewise Big Sleepout will take place on New Zealand’s iconic Eden Park, on one of the coldest, longest nights of winter – Thursday 20th June 2019. The event will see businesses, entrepreneurs and community leaders coming together to raise funds that will go towards Lifewise’s work for ending homelessness.
Stripped of their creature comforts, Lifewise Big Sleepout participants will battle the elements spending a night sleeping on a piece of cardboard, and receiving an insight into what it means to sleep rough. Their commitment is rewarded by donations from family, friends, colleagues and the public; every dollar raised goes towards Lifewise’s work for ending homelessness.
“People need to understand that homelessness is a symptom of a number of social issues that we deal with day to day. Across Lifewise we are working with elderly isolation, broken homes and foster care, addiction and youth homelessness, all connected to the growing number of people finding themselves on the streets,” says Chief Executive of Lifewise, Moira Lawler.
Eden Park Chief Executive Officer Nick Sautner says the Park is a whare for all and the stadium remains ready to be utilised for the benefit of local and wider society.
“Our community is integral to our success and we are committed to supporting this worthy cause for the betterment of those affected. Eden Park is built for more than cricket and rugby and we’re thrilled to be involved in delivering another event that will assist Aucklanders and help spread a wider message.”
In its 9th year, The Big Sleepout has funded some of Lifewise’s most innovative work including social enterprise Merge Café on Karangahape Rd, our intensive In-Home Parenting Support and the Housing First programme. A key partner in the Housing First Auckland City Centre program, Lifewise currently works with rough sleepers in the city centre who are known to their services and who have been chronically homeless for several years. Working with the Auckland City Mission they have currently housed 90 people (as of December 2018).
Funds raised in 2019’s event will contribute to Lifewise’s focus on wider preventative work and how to break the cycles that so often lead to homelessness. This is a vital conversation if New Zealand is to cope with a growing number of people experiencing homelessness.
“We’re moving in the right direction, however, for many of the people we work with, a home is only one step in their journey. Being able to support tenants with personalised wrap-around services helps them sustain their tenancies, address health needs, and to achieve their goals,” says Lawler.