Sleep On It Challenge 2022, organised by Social Justice Advocates has raised $32,050 to date since their campaign began last week.
A night of great local music and fabulous food vans was organised to raise funds and to increase awareness of homelessness. Those attending were invited with "When the food and fun is over, get down and dirty and sleep rough as part of our Sleep On It Challenge".
Above: Member for Eden-Monaro, Kristy McBain said on the night "Great to be at the Sleep On It Challenge and Event with Dr Michael Holland MP - Member for Bega, Rose Jackson (below), NSW Upper House & Shadow Minister for Water, Housing & Homelessness,
Ms McBain said "Housing and Homelessness is a national problem and we need to bring three levels of Government together to work on solutions. Tonight has raised enough money for one new Same Day Granny Flats. You can help by donating here - https://bit.ly/3LNsgk " Social Justice Advocates work in the Bega Valley and elsewhere to raise awareness of the plight of others, particularly homeless people. They stand up against domestic violence, poverty, suicide and support youth, refugees and asylum seekers by working closely with other services and organisations. In asking people to rough it for a night, local community organisations are seeking to give individuals a brief glimpse into the reality of the lives of 116,000 people in Australia who are homeless on any given night, and the many more who are on the brink of homelessness while living in severe rental stress.
Social Justice Advocates say "We know that most of us can't truly understand what it's like to be homeless, but our "Sleep On It" event is an opportunity for people within our community to gain an insight into the lives of people who are experiencing homelessness, which can equip them for further action and advocacy.
"We know that rough sleeping is just the tip of the iceberg, with other forms of homelessness being less obvious to the public. Many people experience hidden homelessness. They're living in unsafe or insecure living conditions like a car, temporary accommodation, a garage or they could be couch surfing.
"The combination of a number of factors including a severe shortage of social housing and affordable rentals, high levels of housing stress, the low rate of JobSeeker and other income support payments and insecure, short term jobs is leading to a spike in financial distress, housing insecurity and homelessness.
"The recent challenges of bushfires and the pandemic have reinforced that everyone needs access to safe, stable accommodation so people can work, access education, connect with their community, look after their wellbeing and live with dignity."