City sleepout aims to help the homeless
The Sallies are offering a brief taste of what homelessness is like.
Palmerston North’s Salvation Army social services mission coordinator Peter Barton has issued an invitation for city people to take part in the annual 14 Hours Homeless sleepover in the citadel car park on the corner of Princess and Church St on Friday night.
It might be Black Friday, but those taking part can count themselves lucky, as they will be fed and entertained during the evening, and know that in the morning they have a home to go back to after their one-off sleeping rough experience, have a shower and a cooked breakfast.
In the past year, Barton said the local corps had supported 77 individuals or families caught up in homeless situations, up from 37 the previous year.
‘‘Homelessness comes in many forms. There are the rough sleepers, but there are also those who are sleeping in cars, in garages, or sharing a house with two or three other families.
‘‘The idea is to register for an experience, or to get people to sponsor you sleeping rough. We will provide cardboard, but you will have to bring along your own couch.’’
Last year, the money raised from the sleepover helped 87 people with emergency housing, access to medical services and help with pre- scription costs.
Registration is from 5.30pm, with a meal at 7.30pm. Further details can be found on Facebook and on the 14 Hours Homeless website.
The Salvation Army’s Peter Barton, with Kat Eden and Captain Michelle Lee test out cardboard and couch sleeping arrangements in preparation for 14 hours Homeless.