It's a sleepover with no cushions
THREE pieces of cardboard and a sleeping bag.
That's all Rockhampton's Greg Taylor had to shelter himself from a cold Brisbane night last Thursday – when he gave up his time to take part in the St Vincent de Paul CEO Sleepout event.
And Greg has good reason to.
Previously experiencing homelessness firsthand, the father of three would welcome friends of his children to stay when they had nowhere else to go.
“When we lived in Emerald, while my kids were growing up, they would have friends who were having trouble finding somewhere to stay, so people would stay with us off and on,” Greg said.
“I have seen a number of families who fall into the situation where either the mother or the father loses their income and they end up having to sleep out of a car or a caravan, so these are reasons why I chose to do the sleepout.”
The regional manager for Queensland Skills DMC, an advisory body providing skills and workforce development needs in the rsources and ifrastructure sectors, spared time in his busy schedule to participate in the St Vinnies fundraiser, which promotes awareness for the homeless around the country.
Only ever volunteering for Air Sea Rescue and door-knocking for the Red Cross, Greg said this was the biggest charity event he'd been involved with by far.
But he said it was a small price to pay compared to what thousands of homeless people experience every day.
“It involved sleeping out in the cold, but it was a great experience just to understand the process of what the homeless go through,” Greg said.
However, Greg said it was all worth it. “To be honest it was a challenge, but it was an opportunity and it was something I could participate in actively, so I did it,” he said. “I hope to do it next year too.”