The annual Year 11 Homelessness Sleepout is part of a Christian Studies / Service-Learning initiative of the College and members of our Christian Studies staff team attend and supervise the event. This initiative is threefold. The students can experience (in a safeway) the difficulties faced by those doing it tough, through having only a small meal, and by sleeping rough. They participate in workshop activities,discussions and listen to outside guest speakers to increase their knowledge of causes and experiences of homelessness and what can be done to assist. Finally, they contribute to help through practical work and donation - at least one “pantry staple”for the homeless contributed on the night.
We aim to run the evening so as to simulate as closely as possible, an authentic “homeless” experience. The program is designed by Vinnies Youth Society and modified by our staff to suit our particular cohort. Students are encouraged to participate with the ‘right heart’, which means they may feel some discomfort such as feeling hungry, cold, physically uncomfortable, emotionally challenged, or having interrupted sleep. Whilst we ensure our students are safe, this is definitely not a school camp or social event - the only food available is what is provided by our ‘soup kitchen’ (soup and a bread roll) and students are not allowed to have their phones or other ‘privileged’ items (including lollies and snacks) with them.
Anastacia is a Trinity student in Year 11 and a talented film-maker. She took part in the 2020 Sleepout and captured the event on video. Her composition of shots and amazing editing really capture the atmosphere on the night and the experience our students had, encapsulating both the learning of this issue as well as the collegiality of the students who participated. We are so appreciative of all her hard work and hope you enjoy her video as much as we have.