Published on: 12 September 2014

Last Friday evening more than 100 fathers, friends and boys ‘slept rough’ in the school grounds to support AnglicareWA’s Street Connect – a service engaging Perth’s homeless youth to make positive life changes.

Director of Philanthropy Carolyn Turner said Christ Church families were asked to make a donation towards Street Connect and at the same time, gain an insight into what it might be like for many young homeless people every night.

A ban on electronics for the night meant good old-fashioned games and conversation took centre stage. For some, it was also an opportunity to play football on the oval after dark, with boys from Pre-Primary to Year 12 all joining in.

Esben, a representative from Street Connect, talked about the different services the program provides to young people who are forced onto the streets. These include professional support to help them overcome their problems, crisis intervention and follow-up support.

Eventually, everyone sought shelter for the night – sleeping under the verandas and surrounding stairwells of the Refectory and S Block in the Senior School. The presence of security lights, exposure to the chill as well as some early morning rain helped those taking part understand a little of what a homeless person might experience.

Ms Turner said the early morning crowd welcomed a breakfast sausage sizzle prepared by the School Prefects and kindly donated by Lawleys Bakery, Peters Butchers and Coles. “Special mention must go to the Prefects, who put their full support behind this important event,” she said.

Proceeds from the Father/Friend and Son Sleepout go directly to supporting Street Connect and reinforcing the School’s commitment to AnglicareWA. “Thank you to all in our community who took part,” Ms Turner said.