I’m going on a Sleep-Out with 650 people!

Wow, this time has flown by, and tonight is the big Canberra Community Sleepout which is being held on the AIS Athletics arena…and apparently there are over 650 people registered!! So it will be an amazing experience and we will all learn a lo more about the actual plight of the homeless, how things change in their life so that they are in this situation and how  tough it has been for some of them.

Well it is only 1 more sleep in my snug, comfy bed until the big Community Sleepout on Friday 14th November! I am not sure what I will be sleeping on…though I am sure I will need to find something to put under my sleeping bag to pad my bony bits.open hands giving

I am very pleased to let you know that I have already passed my fundraising goal of $700 …when I checked the total a short while ago it was over $11oo which is awesome. And I have a little bit more to add in from some generous people I met today in some shops! (Including the lovely Bernie at Snap Printing in Fyshwick).

If you would like to donate please click on the link below and you will be taken to a secure site called GoFundraise which processes all the donations. Many thanks to you if you do donate!

http://sleepout2014.gofundraise.com.au/page/SuzieWilliamsSleepout2014

 WHAT ARE WE FUNDRAISING FOR?

All funds raised from the Canberra Community Sleepout will go towards Communities@Work and St Vincent de Paul, which provide a spectrum of services that provide immediate assistance to those experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness, including food, clothing, accommodation, mental health services, life skills, education and more.

For Example:

  • $10 provides back to school packs for two children in need
  • $25 provides an emergency pack containing food, medicine and personal hygiene products
  • $50 assists with clothing and specialised support for a vulnerable person to transition into the workforce
  • $200 gives a woman and child escaping domestic violence somewhere safe to sleep for one night
  • $500 provides meals and essential items to 3 families in need for a month, and rescues 100 kilos of food from going to waste
  • $1,000 prevents a family from being evicted from their home

Your fundraising will help us break the cycle of homelessness and create better futures.

 SUNRISE YOGA at the Sleepout! I am really looking forward to teaching the sunrise yoga session at 6am on Saturday morning! Please come and chat to me if you are there. Apparently there are over 650 people registered to sleep rough for the night…which is a huge show of support from the Canberra Community – this only the second time the event has been held and numbers have really increased which is fantastic. It is not too late to register if you want to join in and help the homeless of Canberra – the more the merrier.

 It could be anyone… even you… I remember chatting with a friend recently about a startling fact…many average Australian households are only about 5 or 6 paychecks from being homeless…it just takes a sudden change in circumstances with work or family, sickness or an accident and their whole world can change as they have no money to pay rent or mortgage, petrol or food. Others are victims of abuse, domestic violence or families that have broken down. Some are returned veterans with PTSD. Somehow they all find themselves homeless and searching for somewhere to sleep, for themselves or their family. One can only imagine how it must be so much harder to deal with being homeless with your children beside you. I know I always worry about how vulnerable people look when I see them sleeping on the streets.

Apparently in Canberra homelessness is a bit more hidden, we don’t see as many people setting up for the night in shop doorways or park benches as in other big cities. Here they sleep in their car, couch surf, stay in friends garages, or try to find a safe place away from harm – it must be so stressful thinking about it everyday – where will I be able to sleep tonight?

I know that some of the college students I have taught yoga to have also been homeless, spending a night here and there on couches in any home they can find. School becomes their only stable place to be and yet they often can’t concentrate on their schoolwork due to the stress and insecurity of having nowhere to live.

I guess we need to be compassionate and resist judging others before we know the full story as many homeless people were once successful, employed and fully functioning in our regular world of commitments, responsibilities, mortgages and  bills and  felt relatively secure and able to enjoy and celebrate life. These things must now seem like a distant dream to them. Apparently at the Sleepout there will be opportunities to learn more about how some of the people end up being homeless and how we as a community can help them.

I will tell you all about it next week!