Big Sleep Out: Petone highlights homeless

Big Sleep Out

People living on New Zealand streets are being spotlighted by New Zealand’s Big Sleep Out, hosted, December 7 in Petone.

“The homelessness situation (in New Zealand) is a little different to what is happening overseas.

“It’s people living in overcrowded houses, cars and garages – not so much people out on the streets (though) there’s plenty of that, too”, says event organiser Phil Sprey (pictured left) of DestinationHutt.

Sprey is hopeful for 20,000 to turn out joining the local fight against homelessness and raise money for what he describes as an increasing yet largely unseen section of New Zealand society.

Sprey says that by choosing to sleep under the stars, people will help those who have no other choice.

He says he hopes to give the event an international flavour.

An experienced event organiser, Sprey says he and the DestinationHutt charity team are talking with several national and international musical acts.

For juniors, the event begins at 6 pm with a family Christmas concert, “Santa at Sunset” and includes a variety show with multiple stages.

Then as the sun goes down the “sleep out” part of the event will take over.

Joining the official sleep out period is for those over 18 and the minimum donation is $30.

The New Zealand beneficiary of the event is Orange Sky.

Orange Sky is a charity providing mobile laundry and shower services to people living on the streets.

The goal of Big Sleep Out New Zealand is to put more equipment, vehicles and people onto the streets.

The Petone event is part of a global initiative in cities and towns including London, New York, Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Chicago, Cardiff, Los Angeles, New Delhi, Madrid, Brisbane, Amsterdam, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Philadelphia and Singapore.

Will Smith, Dame Helen Mirren and Cold Play’s Chris Martin have joined the international cause.

Locally, story teller, Sir Richard Taylor, Orchestra Wellington, US Ambassador Scott Brown and One Bar Heater are confirmed to be supporting the cause.


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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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