This year was the biggest yet for Fusion’s Sleep in Your Car initiative, raising awareness and funds to help conquer youth homelessness.
From a small start in 2012, SLEEP IN YOUR CAR has grown to involve close to 1000 people and in 2016 was hosted by nine different Fusion centres across the nation. Held during the first week of August as part of National Homelessness Week, this year’s events raised in excess of $82000 for both Fusion’s youth homelessness projects and preventative youth work and for our many partner organisations providing services to the homeless.
From Perth to St Marys, from the Sunshine Coast to Kapunda and many places in between, groups of all sizes gathered during that week for showcases, concerts, network sharing, BBQs, movie nights and of course, to sleep in their cars. Many of the events featured simulation activities to help participants “experience” the challenges of being homeless in their community, in addition to the actual experience of sleeping rough for one night.
On the Mornington Peninsula, where the event is in its second year, 69 people of all ages and from all walks of life slept out in cars, tents and under the stars. Frankston Rotary member, Peter, 69, described his experience as “incredibly moving”.
“I didn’t sleep well but it pales in comparison to what others live with. I have a greater empathy for youth at risk. I was asked to leave Frankston High at a young age and looking back I can see that life could have been very different for me. If I had not had (my family’s) love and support, I don’t know where I would be.”
Homelessness is a complex issue affecting more than a hundred thousand people across our country. It can touch anyone at any time and there is no one-fix solution. SLEEP IN YOUR CAR strengthened the networks of support that are out there and celebrated communities that can better care for people when they need it most. To make a donation or to find out more about how you can connect and be involved in 2017, contact your local Fusion centre or visit www.sleepinyourcar.com.au