On the night of Thursday 30 August, Year 11 students rugged up and braved the school oval for a ‘Sleep Out’ in the name of the Homeless as part of their Christian Studies Service Learning Projects … here’s what they had to say!
Sleeping outside at school in the cold seemed like a daunting experience. None of us had ever experienced homelessness, and hopefully will never have to, but to actually sleep outside with only a sleeping bag and a pillow in chilly winter was an eye opening experience. It made all of us thankful for what we have, and made us want to help people experiencing homelessness in any way that we can. The Sleep Out was a humbling experience for us all. In just a few hours, our eyes were opened to the struggles that these people continuously endure. From now on whenever we see people struggling on the side of the street I don’t believe that we will be able to look at them the same way. – Chelsea Burton
Upon arrival at the Homeless Sleep Out, we had to pass the check-in process. Everyone’s bags were thoroughly searched for contraband, such as snacks, lollies and of course, phones. These items were confiscated, as the aim was to experience an unprivileged life. Everyone felt dehumanised, as you had everything taken away from you including your dignity and pride. Once everyone was checked in, we proceeded to the restaurant for dinner. We were all served a hot bowl of soup with a piece of bread whether we wanted it or not. No-one expected much of a meal, but the soup was enough to fill the hole in our stomachs. We were extremely hungry, and soup may have not been our meal of choice, but we were grateful. All these small aspects of the sleep out really made us realise the hardships the homeless endure, and how lucky we at Trinity are to have a roof over our heads and food. – Thomas Barry
After dinner, all the students participated in activities run by the people from St Vinnies. We participated in a quiz to test our knowledge of homelessness, and we were surprised to learn some of the facts about homelessness. We also took part in an activity where we were placed in groups and given a suitcase full of clothes, accessories and personal items. From this suitcase, we had to guess the person’s name, occupation, family, age and hobbies We learnt how anyone can experience homelessness and that anyone can find themselves in this situation for many different reasons. – Zoe Haines and Madeline White
One of the activities that we engaged in was packing parcels for people experiencing homelessness. We packed these parcels with survival essentials such as canned food, mini bottles of shampoo and conditioner, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and feminine hygiene products. The activity was eye opening and gave us a greater sense of empathy, an understanding of how hard it must be to survive on only a can of food a day. – Emma Siddle
The donations from our Trinity community to St Vinnie’s will be handed over at a special Chapel concerning Homelessness on the final day of term. Thank you all and we encourage you to continue supporting organisations for the homeless like St Vinnie’s. While our experience with homelessness was only one night long, many people across Australia are living this way with no view of a healthy, happy and stable future. We send our prayers out to these people.