Step by Step’s 5th annual Sleep Out returns on Friday 24th June. Aimed at raising awareness and understanding the challenges faced by homelessness, the Sleep Out invites people to try sleeping rough for one night.
Taking place in Aldershot football stadium, just under 100 families, friends and people who have been given hope by the charity, join together and experience what it is like to sleep rough.
“We just have to do it for one day and it’s in a nice environment, it’s comfortable but what people must face day in day out, out there...!” – Shahid Azeem, Chairman Aldershot Town Football Club.
“If we can just do our little bit to help the people who are helping young homeless people … this is our tiny little bit … you know? What’s one night?” – Sleep Out Participant, 2015
In 2016, there are over 2,000 16-24-year-olds reported as sleeping rough or sleeping in cars or tents on any given night just in Hampshire, West Berkshire and Surrey alone.
“We hear in the press about the numbers affected by this, these are youngsters, a lot younger than my own children. This isn’t happening in some big city; this is happening in a leafy corner of Hampshire, that’s what makes me feel passionate and want to do something.” - Sleep Out Participant 2015.
“I’m not gonna lie, it’s been a difficult year. When I moved out of my home I’d only just turned 17 so it was heart breaking for me to be away from my family. I did struggle with that but now that I am independent and I know what I’m doing, it’s kind of better for me.” – Young Person supported by Step by Step, 2015
The charity not only provides accommodation to young people, but offers guidance, family meditation, training and help with job opportunities to those they house and to the youth in the community.
For more details and to join the Sleep Out please visit the website.