I understand being homeless is not a choice – having experienced ‘sleeping rough’ before. Realising it’s an ongoing issue here in New Zealand, and that youth are also involved (sadly). I feel we need to address this issue now and the ‘Big Sleep out’ is my way of being visible and fundraising towards housing marginalised people. I would personally love to help every homeless person – but unfortunately I don’t have the financial means or expertise. Lifewise can make a difference. I’m happy to be apart of the ‘Whore’ team, being a ‘rough sleeper’ on 3 July and fundraising for a great cause. I find it amazing that society ignore the homeless issue. Why? Just remember you are ‘lucky’ to be sleeping in a (warm) bed, with a roof over your head!
Rebecca (Married Woman, Refugee) from ‘Whore’ is sleeping rough for the first time. She considers herself a bit of a nomad, travelling from country to country, trying to find a place called “home”. Find out why she is going to be a ‘rough sleeper’ on 3 July.
I’m doing the ‘Big Sleep Out’ because it’s important to see and experience what I don’t know. I have no idea how difficult it is for people to deal with this every (single) day. I will hopefully get the smallest taste of what it’s like, for people who do this every night. In the cold, in the wet, when it’s unsafe and you’re terrified about who might want a piece of you. By sleeping rough, I get to experience some part of how that (makes me) feels. That’s what I love about life – being able to relate to and understand people, including homeless people.
Geraldine (Underage Sex Worker, Illegal Migrant) from ‘Whore’ is no stranger to sleeping (rough) in a van or showering in public bathrooms. Geraldine shares her story about homelessness, and why it’s important to support the cause.
When I first came to Auckland 4 years ago, I surprised myself saying “oh what an amazing place, I haven’t seen any homeless people on the street here!”
Of course after living in Paris for 3 years where poverty and people living in the street hits you all the time. When you leave your house, I clearly didn’t see it or didn’t want to see it here (in NZ) at first.
When talking to Corie Haddock from Lifewise Merge Cafe on Kroad I heard him say that most of the poverty here is invisible. That is the reason why I want to be part of this event. Even if you don’t see it, you need to open your eyes and heart, then do something about it!
I lived in a van for 10 months here in New Zealand and it was a choice. I wanted a life experience but when winter creeps up on you, it’s not funny anymore. I’ll always remember the day I stayed in a house again: feeling comfort, warmth and protection you then appreciate, like you never did. Don’t take the roof over your head for granted please! I want to put myself out there on the 3rd of July and understand what so many people experience.
We are now in 2014 and everyone needs a home. Let’s work together to raise the much needed monies to house the future of NZ: youth.