SACRED Heart College students recently left their beds to sleep in school corridors to find out what it is like to be homeless for a night.
The aim of the annual Winter Sleepout is to develop understanding and empathy for people experiencing homelessness as well as to break down stereotypes.
With 95 Year 10 students taking part, this year’s event raised $4360 for the school’s charity Young Vinnies.
The money will to go to making 800 meals for the homeless and the Fun Day Out for underprivileged children in September, as well as to buy toiletry items for 100 care packs for Passages and a donation to St Vincent de Paul’s Winter Appeal.
Rebecca Ruthven said it was an “insightful and unforgettable experience” to experience and raise awareness about homelessness.
“We heard about homelessness, causes and how we can provide aid from several special guest speakers including a social worker from Passages and a motivational speaker,” she said.
“After having a slice of bread and a cup of soup, we prepared the packs of toiletries to give to Passages and then retreated to our cardboard boxes and sleeping bags to sleep – battling the cold, rainy weather.”
Student Theo Baskovich agreed it was an eye-opening experience.
“They showed us the total possessions a young person often has is just a bag containing a phone, sleeping bag, jumper, note pad and a small amount of food,” he said.