More than 330 students from 15 WA high schools will brave the cold this Friday 7 August for the 2020 Anglicare WA School Sleep Out in support of our Street Connect youth outreach program.
Rather than spend the night at Perth’s Optus Stadium as in previous years, the 2020 cohort will sleep out at their school or their own backyard due to the impact of COVID-19.
Anglicare WA School Sleepout organiser, Kelly Keall said this year’s Homelessness Week event was thrown into doubt when WA went into shutdown in March due to Coronavirus.
“Social restrictions prevented us returning to Optus Stadium, but we were determined the event would go on - just in a different format - as it’s a key fundraiser for Street Connect, which supports young people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness,” said Ms Keall.
“The fifth annual Sleep Out was modified so students could take part from their own backyards, however the recent easing of restrictions made it possible for nine schools to host events on site.”
Ms Keall said the event’s bespoke Homelessness Simulation, which provides students with an insight into the homelessness experience, has been maintained but in a digital format.
“As in previous years, each student is given the persona of a vulnerable young person, who may be sleeping rough or at risk of homelessness,” said Ms Keall.
“Through an interactive online activity, they will be given difficult choices to make in unfamiliar settings such as accessing finances, dealing with peer pressure, managing their mental health or simply trying to get a bed for the night, without the support of family.
“Most of the young people we support come from dysfunctional families and have little support in their lives; unlike the students participating in the sleep-out for whom it only lasts a night.”
The Street Connect service supports at risk young people aged 15-25 years old, without receiving any government funding to deliver the mobile outreach service in Perth’s inner city.
Anglicare WA CEO Mark Glasson said it costs over $500,000 annually to keep Street Connect on the road.
“The impact of COVID-19 has increased demand on Street Connect,” said Mr Glasson.
“At the same time, traditional peer-to-peer fundraising undertaken by supporting schools has been significantly reduced so we’re facing a worrying shortfall in funding for Street Connect.”
2020 Anglicare WA School Sleep Out Roll of Honour:
- *All Saints’ College, Bullcreek
- *Christchurch Grammar School, Claremont
- *Court Grammar School, Serpentine
- *Esperance Anglican Community School
- Hale School, Wembley Downs
- *John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School, Mirrabooka
- Perth College, Mt Lawley
- *Peter Carnley Anglican Community School, Kwinana
- Peter Moyes Anglican Community School, Mindarie
- *St George’s Anglican School, Perth CBD
- St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls, Mosman Park
- *St James’ Anglican School, Alkimos
- St Mark’s Anglican Community School, Hillary’s
- St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School, Karrinyup
- *Swan Valley Anglican Community School
[* denotes the schools hosting events on site]