When we were signing up for the Winter Sleepout, we thought it would just be a good way to make new friends and listen to different people talk about their experiences. But throughout the program, we found out that it was not just an opportunity to meet new people, it was an opportunity to feel how homeless people feel. Knowing that they would be out on the streets, all alone, and that they would have no home to go to in the morning. What we experienced is a mere glimpse of what someone sleeping on the streets experiences every day.
Year 7 students Tom Senyard, Luca Crivelli, Marco Baggio and Alex Lee
In the midst of winter, students rugged up and braved the cold to spend one night sleeping outside the Burke Hall Campus buildings to raise awareness for those experiencing homelessness.
The annual YEP Winter Sleepout event is held in support of the thousands of people who are sleeping rough every night in Melbourne and around the world.
As part of the evening, Jesuit Social Services, COTS (Christmas On The Streets) and St Vincent De Paul gave students the opportunity to hear real stories from young people who have experienced homelessness themselves here in Melbourne.
Year 8 students Fergus Grave and Ben Walter reflected on the event as being “very tiring but rewarding experience”.
We heard stories from two people who have experienced homelessness. The first speaker, Agum, spoke about the struggles of getting housing as an immigrant. She was pregnant during this time where she was homeless which increased the difficulty of getting safe accommodation. The second speaker Sam spoke about how he had a rough childhood and how his parents didn’t take proper care of him.
This was motivational to us because they made people who were homeless seem closer to us. They spoke about the way we could help. We were truly inspired by the whole experience.