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Sleepout Friday

I had the opportunity to sleep rough with a group of students across Years 7-12 and staff member Ms Rowe-Watts in the Hall last Friday evening to highlight the issue of homelessness in the community.  The hardness of the gym floor and coldness of the night didn’t deter the students. We had the opportunity to listen to representatives from St Vinnies, Victoria Police and Fr Fabien of their experiences in dealing with those who are homeless.  The students raised over $1800.00 for the cause; they are to be congratulated for such a fantastic effort. 

Rob Blackley
Deputy Principal (Students)

On Friday night, I spent the evening sleeping on the cold hard floor of the school gym along with 24 other students in order to raise awareness about the conditions homeless people suffer through. We developed an understanding of how terrifying sleeping  “rough” can actually be. 
The night commenced with a brief discussion on why we where there and what we wished to gain from the evening with a mutual wish to experience how hard living on the streets could be and to help out with the money we raised through our sponsorships. 
After everyone expressed what they hoped to gain from the evening, we heard from Michael Walters of the St. Vincent De Paul who enlightened us with interesting facts and statistics regarding homelessness in Victoria and instilled in us the idea that homeless people all have a story and reasons as to why they are in the position that they are in. We also listened to a representative from Caroline Springs Police who explained how they are involved in assisting the homeless. 

After listening to our guest speakers we grabbed all our gear and whisked ourselves away to The CRC Soup Kitchen where Father Fabian blessed our soup and sandwiches, and after grabbing as much as we could carry, we ate our food outside in the cold, as many homeless people do each and every night. We then set ourselves up in our sleeping bags and blankets outside near the canteen and then near the year nine portables before finally settling in the school hall. 
As the sun rose, we rose, and after achingly packing our things away, we headed back to our Soup Kitchen where we ate our breakfast along with our parents. While we were eating we had time to reflect on our experience and what it would be like if we had to do this every night. Then the moment finally came to announce how much money we had raised. There has never been a moment in my life where I have felt as proud or as humbled as I did when the figure $1599 floated in the air. It was voted and agreed upon that these funds will be donated to Ozanam House  (provides food and emergency accommodation for homeless people) and the St. Vinnies Soup vans. After everyone headed outside for a group photo with all the participants, including Suki (our homeless dog ) we all headed to our warm homes more appreciative than ever. 

Catherine De Luca 

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