SLEEPING outside on a bitterly cold Griffith night is not most people’s idea of an enjoyable experience.
But, in an attempt to raise awareness of homelessness in the region, the local branch of Mission Australia is asking residents to do just that.
On Friday, August 3, corporate teams and individuals will spread out their swags and blankets at Griffith Showgrounds and settle in for the night.
Support for local homeless people won’t end there – organisers are hoping to raise enough money at the event to start a mobile soup kitchen in Griffith.
Funds raised through sponsorship and raffles, will also be donated to the Salvation Army, Griffith Women’s Refuge and Langunyah House.
“Because we don’t see a lot of homeless people around Griffith, people assume they don’t exist,” Mission Australia volunteer Suzi Jones said.
“They do exist – in many forms. There are some who sleep outside at night and there are a lot of kids who couch-hop from night to night.
“This will give people a taste of their lives and get them thinking about what we can do for those who are less fortunate than ourselves.”
There will be plenty of activity to keep participants busy at the event, with local musicians performing as well as country and western singer Paul Costa, who will fly in from Sydney.
A barbecue dinner and breakfast will be provided for those who sleep out and “fire buckets” will be set up for warmth.
Event registration is available through Mission Australia’s website or by searching for “Griffith Winter Sleepout” on the web.