Year 8 Homeless Sleepout
Last Thursday night, Year 8 students had the opportunity to experience a little of what it is like to be homeless, by sleeping rough in the Salvation Army’s basement carpark in Northbridge. On Friday, they had a tour of various venues to further unpack the issues and what is being done to support people who are experiencing homelessness.
Here are some reflections of the experience:
On our homeless sleepout, we got to have a firsthand experience of sleeping rough. It wasn’t easy and we were all pushed out of our comfort zone. It was noisy. The ground was hard and uncomfortable, and I woke up in lots of pain.
Asha Harding, Year 8
The sleepout was an amazing experience. The food wasn’t as bad as we thought. We learnt so much, including what the Salvation Army do for the people experiencing homelessness. We also learnt that the people who live on the streets aren’t homeless, they are experiencing homelessness.
It was hard to fall asleep with all the noise, but the people who are sleeping rough would have been cold, in pain, scared and lonely. We learnt to appreciate what we have, even if it’s just an afternoon snack! Thank you to the teachers who slept out with us and made sure we were safe.
Lacey King, Year 8
It opened my eyes to how some people have to sleep and really showed me how privileged I am. When we went to the park, it really opened my eyes because on the other side, we saw lots of homeless people waiting for the food van.
Abbey Russell, Year 8
It was an interesting experience as it gave a different perspective on homelessness. Rather than think of someone is homeless, we were taught to think of someone as going through homelessness. We also learnt about what charities do. One of the services was a food van which provided us dinner. Another was the Beacon which is transition housing for people who are getting ready to move into their own place.
Dan Santhosh, Year 8
We learnt how people become homeless, what percentage of men and women are homeless and how hard it is to leave that lifestyle after being homeless for a long time. We learnt to be grateful for what you have.
Jagteshwar Singh, Year 8
Overall, the sleepout was an amazing experience as it opened my eyes to the world of homeless people and it made me understand the causes of homelessness and how people can change their lifestyle from homelessness.
Ron Roshan, Year 8
The sleepout was a really good experience for kids my age. The city is a great place to see how homeless people really live. The tour was very educational and helped me understand the issue of homelessness more.
I felt bad because we were wearing nice clothes and then there were homeless people standing or walking around with old dirty clothes and barely any food. My heart broke for them.
Kimberley Strydom, Year 8
It showed me how thankful and grateful I am to have a house and clean clothes, water to drink and food to eat.
Tia Hauraki, Year 8
It changed the way I look at homeless people and what they have been through. Instead of judging them, I will ask myself why are they on the street?
Fadzai Makanyanga, Year 8
The sleepout was very educational and eye-opening. It made me realise how much I have and that I should be more thankful.
Emma Coetzee, Year 8