Last year, I heard first hand from a formerly successful businessman who’d made a couple of bad decisions. Fast forward six months and he suffered a breakdown and lost his business, his family and his home.
His journey became one of survival and after a while, with the help of charitable agencies, he found temporary lodgings and began to slowly rebuild his life.
I heard another story from a former senior executive whose wealthy husband began beating her and she fled with her children, sleeping in a car for weeks till shelter was available. These are just two stories of people sleeping rough in our region.
It deeply disturbs me that more than 105,000 people are sleeping outside tonight and every other winter night in Australia. That around 32,000 of those are children makes it harder to accept. In New Zealand, homelessness is also an issue.
I know it’s possible to change the situation in both countries and I’m literally putting my body on the line – twice in a week in two countries! – to prove it. From experience, I know each night will be freezing, uncomfortable and won’t involve any sleep. I also know that it is a very small sacrifice to make a big difference and change lives – I’m shamelessly asking for your help.
On Thursday 21 June, I’ll be sleeping outdoors to raise funds to help create change for some of Australia’s most vulnerable people. A week later, on Thursday 28 June, I’ll be doing it again in Auckland to help get Kiwis off the streets.
To see more of Melina’s posts for MYOB’s The Pulse click here.