Be homeless for a night

LOCAL teenager Adam Gow had an experience he will never forget at a sleepout to raise awareness about the plight of homeless people on Saturday night.

The 17-year-old from Hastings Point said it rained for about two hours that night at St Joseph's School in Banora Point, making the experience seem very real.

“It rained enough for puddles to form on the school grounds and it was really tiring,” Mr Gow said.

“It was terrible because it took ages to get to sleep and I only got about an hour's sleep.”

Jimbo's Sleepout is an initiative by the Tweed-based charity You Have a Friend, run by local businessman John Lee.

Mr Gow said the 15 participants who stayed the night had taken tarps to sleep on top of but ended up pulling them over their heads because of the rain.

“The night was a good experience and well worth it to experience what homeless people have to go through every night.”

“Lots of people came and gave donations in the afternoon but didn't sleep the night and others did the whole thing.”

Mr Gow got involved with the sleepout because he volunteered for the charity that organised it.

He said he had been working with You Have a Friend for about a year and really enjoyed the work.

“Mum and I joined You Have a Friend at the same time and it has been really enjoyable.

“It is great to see people recover from drug overdoses and alcohol problems,” he said.

Mr Gow estimated donations received by the charity from the sleepout totalled $1500.

Tweed MP Geoff Provest said he stayed at the sleepout for three hours on Saturday.

“The money went to John Lee's cause for a bus for transportation to reach people in need,” Mr Provest said.

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