2016 Homeless Connect Youth Off the Streets Sleep Out

On Friday 21 October, the Homeless Connect community of QAHS finally packed their sleeping bags, pyjamas and other essentials in preparation for the sleep out. For many people, this was their first time sleeping on the hard gym floor along with unfamiliar noises. The committee worked very hard to make the sleep out as fun and enjoyable as possible with planned activities like Waterpong, Homeless Relay, a homeless trivia and of course, scheduled free time.

The sleep out was planned to start at 5pm and students arrived promptly on time, marking their name off and disconnecting themselves from social media as students handed in their phones. Activities began shortly after with games focusing on the essential needs of the Homeless: food, water, shelter and clothing. Students then split into groups of four to complete rotations of these games. However, during these activities I’m sure everyone would agree that we were all too preoccupied with protecting and stealing ribbons that were tied to our wrist, which was another game that ran simultaneously with other games. After running around so much, dinner was well-needed. The teachers prepared minestrone and pumpkin soup with bread to warm us up in the cold night. The night then continued with free time where students chatted with friends, played basketball and badminton and board games. Students were then gathered to build their cardboard shelters out of boxes and bags of chocolate were distributed to the winning teams. Of course, we cannot forget the Homeless Connect Trivia that Joseph enthusiastically prepared to raise awareness in the Homeless Community. When the lights were out, everyone huddled up in groups and spent the night sleeping. The students then woke up bright and early to collectively clean the area and make their way home.

Overall, the sleep out was an unforgettable experience that allowed students to strengthen and make new friendship bonds while gaining an insight into what homelessness is about. Thank you to all the students that prepared this event and participated.

The Homeless Connect CAS group would also like to extend our gratitude to the supervising teachers who sacrificed their Friday night for the event; Mrs Jackson, Mr Turpin, Mr Haydock and Miss Gold!

Victoria Ng and Tracy Wang
Year 11 Students