SLEEPING ROUGH TO END HOMELESSNESS
The Lifewise Big Sleepout is back for 2019, and open for registrations. As part of World Homeless Day, Lifewise wants to celebrate the success of programs like Housing First, however, there is still a lot of work to be done to stop the homeless epidemic, and ensure people have access not only to a home but wraparound support and services.
The Lifewise Big Sleepout will take place on one of the coldest, longest nights of winter Thursday 20th June, 2019. Lifewise wants businesses, entrepreneurs, community leaders to sign up and take part in the event which will see them experience one night of “rough sleeping” and raise critical funds to tackle 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 Lawler.
Funds raised at the Lifewise Big Sleepout will support the Methodist social development agency to focus on innovative solutions including the development of preventative models that can keep people from ending up homeless in the first place.
“We want to get better at working with our communities to find preventive solutions. Fundraising events like The Big Sleepout help us do this,” says Lawler.
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. Lifewise has worked with 69 people helping them into permanent housing.