BYS shines a light on youth homelessness at World’s Big Sleep Out

Jan 24, 2020

From New York city’s Times Square and Los Angeles’ Rose Bowl to Trafalgar Square in London to … The Gabba! The city put homelessness on the world stage in December when its iconic stadium played host to The World’s Big Sleep Out 2019—and Brisbane Youth Service was there to fly the flag for young people who have no place to call home. Hundreds of individuals and corporate teams joined Brisbane’s music, sporting and business stars to spend a night sleeping out and collectively raise more than $160,000 for homelessness.

The World’s Big Sleep Out is the largest charitable campaign in a generation. Taking place in more than 60 countries around the world, the campaign raises life-saving funds to support one million people experiencing homelessness in cities around the globe.

BYS Corporate Services Director, Sarah Page and Fundraising Coordinator, Laura Watson were on hand at the event to support young people in the Sleep Out’s Community Impact Village. There, they were joined by other Brisbane community service organisations 3rd SpaceBeddownFareShareThe Big Issue Australia and MATES in Construction.

We were delighted to take part in a global event locally here in Brisbane. The World’s Big Sleep Out highlights the power people have when we work together to create positive impact—BYS Corporate Services Director Sarah Page.

Ms Page said the night was a huge success. “BYS is seeing more young people more often with complex, intersecting support needs. Events like these are so important for raising awareness and supporting those members of our community who are vulnerable and experiencing homelessness, and the response from Brisbane was amazing,” she said.

“It’s so encouraging to see hundreds of people from across Brisbane rally together to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Keeping homelessness in the spotlight is vital to raising awareness of an issue which impacts people around the world.

“We were delighted to take part in a global event locally here in Brisbane. The World’s Big Sleep Out highlights the power people have when we work together to create positive impact.”

In Australia there has been a 26 per cent increase in youth homelessness over the last 10 years* with 28,000 Australians aged 12-24 homeless on any given night.* BYS has been making a difference in the lives of homeless and vulnerable young people, aged 12 to 25 years, and their children since 1977. Young people who seek support from BYS are typically experiencing a range of complex issues and challenges.

Each year The World’s Big Sleep Out attracts high-profile celebrities such as Will Smith and Dame Helen Mirren, who read bedtime stories for those participating in the Sleep Out. In Brisbane, the bedtime story was read by award-winning, Brisbane based author Trent Dalton.

50 per cent of the funds raised will support Queensland organisation Mercy Community with the remaining funds going towards supporting people who are displaced internationally.

KPMG Australia’s Brisbane team took part in the event continuing its support for vulnerable young people and homelessness. The team took part in Bridge to Brisbane for BYS earlier this year as well as led the charge on two backyard makeovers at BYS’s Windsor and Sandgate Houses. The PwC Brisbane team raised more than $23,000 while Michael Hill Jeweller fundraised over $17,000.

*ABS, Census 2016