Youths brave the cold

Youths brave the cold

Circular Head Youth Leader Kelsey Williams writes about her experience braving the cold with her fellow CHYL leaders as part of the Vinnies Sleepout.

On July 5 14 members of the Circular Head Youth Leaders braved the cold. 

The Vinnies Sleepout requires participants to spend a winter night exposed to the weather with only a pillow, sleeping bag/blanket and a cardboard box. 

The experience was about changing perceptions and breaking stereotypes. 

Recognising that that situation is some people’s norm is very eye opening. It is hard to imagine living that way for a period of time while also balancing school, work or family. 

Not only are the conditions blatantly uncomfortable, but your body also being on high alert of any dangers makes it extremely difficult or impossible to sleep.

Homelessness is not always visible and is often demonstrated as couch surfing or bouncing between temporary living arrangements. 

There is a massive need for crisis accommodation in Tasmania. Around 4000 applicants are waiting for public housing. Of those, 33 per cent are are youth aged between 16 and 24. 

In the second quarter of the 2020/21 financial year, the average waiting time for public housing was 63.7 weeks.

The sleepout which was the third completed by CHYL in recent years was a success. 

So far about $1300 has been raised for the Circular Head Vinnies Van to aid people faced with homelessness. 

Donations can be made online via the link available on the Circular Head Youth Facebook page or given to any CHYL member.