YOU Have A Friend charity founder John lee (right) and Emma Walsh get ready for Saturday's sleepout from homeless.
YOU Have A Friend charity founder John lee (right) and Emma Walsh get ready for Saturday's sleepout from homeless. Craig Sadler/ Tweed Daily News

Spotlight put on homeless

SLEEPING outside might be fun for a night but for more than 600 homeless people in the Tweed area it is a reality visited upon them every night.

In a bid to raise awareness of their plight, founder of Tweed-based charity You Have A Friend, John Lee, has organised a sleepout to be staged on Saturday.

Jimbo's Sleepout will be held at St Joseph's School, Banora Point on Saturday, October 10.

“We are trying to raise money for a $20,000 van to transport food to places we can't reach at the moment,” Mr Lee said.

Mr Lee said the charity aimed to support the homeless in the Murwillumbah, Tweed Heads and Coolangatta areas.

He said he would like to expand the charity's services to cater for people in Chinderah and Uki as well as the Pottsville area but needed the van to travel to those areas.

“You Have A Friend holds food outreaches three times a day and takes food to people who cannot make it to the outreaches,” Mr Lee said.

“We also help people who need to go to detox or need to look for accommodation.”

Mr Lee said he intended to make the sleepout an annual event to raise money so the registered charity could continue to improve its services.

Everybody is welcome to participate but “for insurance purposes we are asking that one adult chaperone a group of four children under 18,” Mr Lee said.

Participants should take a cardboard box and sleeping bag with the sleepout to take place on the basketball courts at St Joseph's.

Registration will open at 4pm and the charity has asked for a donation of $20 per person.

Mr Lee, who is hopeful local businesses will sponsor the event, said he would not turn anyone away with less than $20 but the more money raised the better.

The sleepout is due to be completed by 8am Sunday. For inquiries visit www.youhaveafriend.org.au



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