Endeavoring to raise awareness and much needed funds to improve the homelessness situation in the Coffs Harbour Community, we arrived at the CEX International Stadium at 6:30pm with sleeping bag and yoga mat in hand. Leading up to the event the weather had been chilly, but dry. During Wednesday it started to rain and our minds shifted from ‘Oh – it’s raining’ to ‘its cold, it’s raining and we have to sleep out in this tonight, what can we do to keep dry and warm?’ Thoughts that we take for granted but are in the forefronts of the minds of homeless people every day. Lucky for us, team captain Ian suggested that he could bring some tarps along to keep us dry. Clearly he’s done this before because although it wasn’t raining when we got there, it poured over night.
After checking in, and choosing our digs for the night (from a selection of various sized cardboard boxes), we then headed down onto the field and setup “Hotel HQB”. Once our rooming quarters were setup we went up to listen to John Rafferty of CEX talk about homelessness in the Coffs Harbour Community and he introduced the charities that were chosen for our contributions this year being:
– Bridging the Gap Men’s Resource Centre
– Homes for Heroes
– Warrina Domestic & Family Violence Specialist Services Cooperative
It was very interesting listening to their stories and how our donations help them in their efforts to combat homelessness. Around 7pm, the CEX team provided us with a dinner of soup and a bread roll. This was very warming on such a cool night. It was around that time that we all felt a noticeable change in the temperature and our thoughts turned to what it would be like having to deal with this every night. For us, we braved the elements for one night and although the cardboard boxes that we slept in were surprisingly warm and kept us dry, they were very uncomfortable. We were in a stadium where we had security, running water and tea and coffee. We had friends that came along and played cards with us throughout the night to pass the time and to keep each other safe. For a person that is homeless, this is only a wish. More often than not they are alone, cold and very unsure as to when their next meal will be. They lack the very basic needs of shelter, security and warmth.
It was an enlightening and thought provoking experience which we were very proud to be a part of. For us it was about making a positive difference in someone else’s world. Each participant had to raise $50 as our commitment to the cause and as a collaborative effort, Team HQB raised $1,755. We thank all that supported us supporting this great cause and look forward to contributing again next year.
Ian, Cath & Megan
– Posted 5.7.18