A sleep out will be held at the end of this month to raise money for a Hunter-based charity that helps people who are sleeping rough in a car and start a conversation about some of the issues around homelessness.
Night Under The Stars will take place at the Macquarie Life Church site in Cardiff from 6pm on July 27, with dinner, light entertainment and breakfast the following morning.
The event will raise money for Our Backyard - a service for people sleeping in their cars which gives them access to bathroom and kitchen facilities, food, toiletries, wifi, towels, pillows and blankets.
Organisers are aiming to raise $35,000 through the sleep out - Our Backyard relies on donations and receives no government funding. People can either register to stay in their car for the sleep out or turn up for the evening's activities and donate on the night.
Spokesperson Peter Di Girolamo said guest speakers at the event would be a reminder that there were often reasons for homelessness that did not relate to drug addiction, alcoholism or crime - there could be a range of factors that were beyond an individual's control.
"The prejudice is all homeless people are drug addicts or jail birds - we want to make it clear to people that if circumstances were different it could impact their own worlds," he said.
"It's not about victimising or shaming homeless people, it's about empathy."
Visit mycause.com.au/events/nightunderthestars2019 to register for the sleep out and set a fundraising goal.
People sleeping rough in their car who want to use the service can contact Our Backyard on 0402 155 586.
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