Sleep Out of Your Comfort Zone with the 'Salvos Sleepout - 96five Family Radio

Sleep Out of Your Comfort Zone with the ‘Salvos Sleepout

The Salvos Sleepout is challenging Brisbane locals to learn about the challenges many women experiencing homelessness face daily.

By Steff WillisFriday 5 Jul 2024Station NewsReading Time: 3 minutes

The Salvation Army is calling on the community to leave their home comforts for a night and support an important cause.

Held on Friday 6th September at the RNA Showgrounds, the Salvos Sleepout will see locals sleep in the open to raise funds and awareness to ensure vital services for homeless women in Brisbane continue.

More women are finding themselves in unstable environments that range from uncomfortable to dangerous. Many women have no choice other to flee, often ending up without a place to call home.

Entering its fourth year, The Sleepout is open to anyone and is designed to demonstrate what it’s like to be homeless and to help raise $60,000 to support women’s homelessness services.

96five’s Jess Drummond spoke with Giang Nguyen, Team Leader for The Salvation Army’s Brisbane City Women’s Homelessness Services (BCWHS), about the importance of the event with the need for these services growing. growing need for these services is growing, with more people finding themselves homeless.

“All of the funds go towards Brisbane City Women’s, all of the women that we support, and as the Team Leader, I get to see that money being spent, so it’s fantastic,” Giang said.

“It’s just a really, really great night. Everyone comes together. It’s a lot of likeminded people sleeping out, leaving the comfort of their homes, to show that they really care about the women that are experiencing homelessness in Brisbane at the moment.”

Giang explained how the Brisbane City Women’s Homelessness Services 35-bed crisis accommodation building houses women experiencing domestic violence, child safety and legal processes, mental health issues, or other complex situations. The team also provides case management to support women to overcome barriers and meet their goals.

Brisbane local, Emma Baker, is someone who has directly benefited from the work of the Salvos and she spoke with Jess about her experience.

“Basically, if it wasn’t for the Salvation Army’s homelessness refuge for women, I wouldn’t be in the position that I am today. I have somewhat beaten the statistics,” Emma said.

“Looking back on [her hardship] now, I guess it’s a blessing in disguise. I’m a stronger person. I’ve got two of four of my children back home with me in my full-time care and I’ve got a job. I can be mum, I’ve got a home that I can call home now, so things are looking much better than they were a couple of years ago.”

During a period of couch-surfing, Emma says she was connected to the Salvos’ Hotline, which led to a case manager helping her to get a place of her own.

Emma says the Salvos Sleepout has provided her a platform to share her story of homelessness.

“It felt really empowering for everybody to be listening to us [at a previous Sleepout event] and actually giving us their heart and soul to listen to. That was really important to be able to speak it out while people are actually listening to us and not just getting ridiculed as people on the street.”

96five is proud to be the Official Media Sponsor for the Salvos Sleepout. To learn more about the Salvos Sleepout and how you can register and fundraise for the event, visit the website.

Listen to the interviews with Giang Nguyen and Emma Baker in the players above.

Feature Image: Artwork supplied by The Salvation Army