Mandurah’s eastern foreshore home of this year’s Passages couch surfing race

Serena Nannup, Hayley Dewar, Julie Greer, Jade Gillespie & Tonya Cabena. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d485386c
Serena Nannup, Hayley Dewar, Julie Greer, Jade Gillespie & Tonya Cabena. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d485386c

MANDURAH’s eastern foreshore will be a hotspot for homelessness awareness day next Thursday, August 9 where youth engagement hub Passages will host their annual couch surfing race.

Not-for-profit organisation Passages, a St Vincent De Paul initiative, provides a non-judgemental safe space to communicate with marginalised and at risk 12 to 25 year olds in Peel.

Passages coordinator Jade Gillespie said Mandurah businesses that work within the homelessness sector would decorate a couch of their own to race.

“This year we have 10 couches racing but 14 services are involved who will race their couches down the foreshore,” she said.

“The annual couch surfing event will aim to raise awareness of the experiences of homelessness.”

Ms Gillespie said the race would include pit stops relatable to homelessness including unpacking a sleeping bag and putting hats and gloves only to take them off at the last stop to pack them in a bag.

“It will outline that a lot of homeless people only have what they can carry,” she said.

Each business or service will race alone, starting from 12pm, and will be timed to determine the winner.

“Its not about who wins or raising funds – it’s all about creating homelessness awareness and how it presents itself in lots of different forms,” she said.

“It’s not just about street presence as a few homeless people would stay at a friends house and sleep on their couch and then stay at another friends house the next day -that’s what is referred to as couch surfing.”Ms Gillespie said she expected a big turnout from those who are homeless or disadvantaged as well as Mandurah residents who want to see the race.

“We have a large homeless community that come on the day and not just street presence but people who are disadvantaged and marginalised,” she said.

Pop up stalls will provide free food, clothing and sleeping bags for people in need.