Social development agency Lifewise is inviting businesses and community leaders to experience life on the streets through their annual Big Sleepout, which raises critical funds to tackle homelessness.
Homelessness is an alarming issue here in New Zealand. Over 41,000 New Zealanders are severely housing-deprived, with almost half being under the age of 25.
Lifewise aims to raise $400,000 through the event. This will enable Lifewise to implement the internationally acclaimed Housing First model, to help at-risk Kiwis into homes and support them to live independently.
Chief Executive of Lifewise, Moira Lawler says, “If we meet our target, we’ll be able to provide rent subsidies for a year to 80 people with complex needs, supporting them into permanent homes and providing the wrap-around services they need to live independently and well.”
Stripped of their creature comforts leaders and influencers from business, community, and political spheres will spend a night on cold concrete, receiving an insight into what it means to sleep rough. Their commitment is rewarded by donations from family, friends, colleagues and the public; every dollar raised goes towards Lifewise’s work for ending homelessness.
As well as raising funds, the Lifewise Big Sleepout aims to deconstruct misconceptions surrounding homelessness. Now in its seventh year, the impact the event has on participants continues to astound the Lifewise team.
“Talking to people who have experienced homelessness and, through us, are now stably housed, helps participants see the issue differently.
It humanises homelessness, and gets people talking about how we must work together to solve this issue,”Moira says.
By donating to the Lifewise Big Sleepout, you’ll be helping solve homelessness in an empowering and sustainable manner. Donate today at www.lifewise.org.nz/donate. If you are interested in participating or finding out more about the Lifewise Big Sleepout, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit bigsleepout.org.nz.
The event will take place on 7 July.