Homeless, but not hopeless

NOTHING BUT SWAG: Michelle Hine and Rae Gate at Gympie Central promoting the 2017 sleepout.
NOTHING BUT SWAG: Michelle Hine and Rae Gate at Gympie Central promoting the 2017 sleepout. Jacob Carson

THE picture of modern homelessness in the Gympie Region very rarely resembles the stereotype of 'sleeping rough' out in the cold.

But the form it actually takes, often in crisis accommodation or crashing on the couch of a friend or relative, can often be just as stressful and risk-laden.

With hard-working homeless services in Gympie often stretched to capacity, the team at Community Action Inc are getting ready for another community sleepout.

"Over five years, we've raised about $65,000 to go toward a new shelter for the homeless here in the region,” Community Action manager Michelle Hine said. "One of the things we hear again and again is that Gympie doesn't have adequate resources for our homeless - well, that's what we're working toward.”

The sleepout starts tonight at the grandstand in the Gympie Showgrounds.

The theme for this year is 'Homeless not Helpless', as much about educating the public as it is assisting those currently struggling.

"What we're finding is the majority of people are homeless because of financial and emotional hardships,” Ms Hine said.

The 2017 Gympie Sleepout starts from 7pm tonight.

Applicants can register at the event, and are advised to bring warm clothes and sleeping bags if they are staying out for the night.

Topics:  gympie homel homelessness sleepout

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