SLEEP AT THE ‘G’ TO END YOUTH HOMELESSNESS

0 Comments

by Charlotte Pordage

 

Registrations are currently open for Melbourne City Mission’s annual ‘Sleep at the G,’ a fundraising event to end youth homelessness, which will take place on Thursday 21 May from 5pm to 8am.

 

Participants will spend the night at the Melbourne Cricket Ground’s members’ concourse, with only cardboard to sleep on and soup and bread rolls for dinner.

 

“By sleeping out at the MCG, participants will experience what thousands of young people face every night in Victoria. This helps to raise the profile of this incredibly important social justice issue, as well as much-needed funds to support our programs and services,” said Rev Ric Holland, who has been CEO of Melbourne City Mission for the past six years.

 

Sleep at the 'G 2014 participants #12

 

Entertainment will be provided during the evening across two stages, featuring broadcaster and musician John Von Goes as MC and a line-up of acts that includes British India, L-Fresh The Lion with Mirrah and Heloise.

 

The first ‘Sleep at the G’ took place in 2013, with 680 attendees raising $317,000. In 2014, attendance almost doubled with 1200 attendees raising $504,000; the aim for 2015 is to improve on this even further, with a target of 1400 participants and $600,000 worth of donations. Funds raised from previous events have supported the redevelopment of the Frontyard Youth Services space at 19 King Street, to support the homelessness services delivered there.

 

‘Sleep at the G’ is Melbourne City Mission’s signature event, raising the profile of youth homelessness in Victoria, ensuring vital funds go towards enabling homeless young people to overcome obstacles and challenges in their lives.

 

By sleeping out at the MCG, participants will experience what thousands of young people face every night in Victoria. This helps to raise the profile of this incredibly important social justice issue, as well as much-needed funds to support our programs and services.”

 

Melbourne City Mission was established in 1854 and is the city’s oldest charity. It is the largest provider of homelessness services to young people under 24 in Victoria and the largest provider of homelessness services to adults and families (aged 18–45) across the northwest metropolitan region of Melbourne.

 

Rev Holland believes the charity’s holistic approach to working with clients, which addresses issues such as education, employment, social support and personal health and well-being, is key to helping some of Victoria’s most vulnerable individuals find permanent pathways out of homelessness.

 

“Melbourne City Mission has a fantastic history in supporting the most disadvantaged for over 160 years. It is a multi-issue organisation which addresses many different areas of need. Its work with homeless people goes back to its beginning and I love its mission to create new futures rather than just ‘hand out cups of tea,’” he said.

 

Sleep at the 'G 2014 team

 

According to information supplied by the Council to Homeless Persons, more than 6000 young Victorians aged 12-24 have no place to call home and are forced to either ‘couch surf’ or ‘sleep rough’ every night. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported in late 2014 that the number of Victorians seeking support from homelessness services rose 8%, from 92,462 in 2012-13 to 99,892 in 2013-14 (an increase of almost 7,500), with the greatest increase in requests for help from those under 14.

 

Rev Holland commented: “Homelessness is a problem worldwide but is particularly challenging in the world’s most liveable city. People become homeless for many reasons. Among the biggest are escaping family violence, escaping sexual abuse and family breakdown.”

 

The entry fee for the event is $60 and participants must be 18 or over. For more information and to register, visit SleepAtTheG.com.au or call 1800 626 572.

 

 

Charlotte Pordage is a freelance writer/editor from the UK. She has a degree in English Literature and Latin, and her interests include riding her horse Oscar and exploring Melbourne’s eclectic nightlife. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @charpordage.

Something to say..? Leave your comments here.

Stay up to date via TwitterStay up to date via TwitterStay up to date via TwitterStay up to date via Twitter