DANIEL Sedgley will be sleeping where he can next week to raise awareness about the homelessness suffered by his clients.
Mr Sedgley, a homeless youth support worker with Brophy Family and Youth Services, will deny himself the comfort of his mattress to support the Anywhere But a Bed initiative being staged as part of next week’s National Homeless Person’s Week.
Mr Sedgley said he was happy to be involved in Anywhere But A Bed because homelessness needed more publicity.
He said Brophy’s support team for the homeless dealt with more than 300 south-west people a year.
“I talk to a lot of people who are blown away by that figure,” Mr Sedgley.
Many of the homeless people he dealt with were escaping family violence, he said.
“There’s been an increase in domestic violence involving young females,” Mr Sedgley said.
He said drug and alcohol issues were among the other problems that led people to be homeless.
Anywhere But A Bed national co-ordinator Andrew Edgar said the social media campaign challenged people to sleep in their house but not in their beds for a night to give them an idea of the challenges they would face if that was their life for the foreseeable future.
Mr Edgar, who is the Barwon South West Homelessness Network co-ordinator, said the Anywhere But A Bed initiative aimed to help people focus on the issues that led to homelessness such as family violence and mental health problems.
He said that apart from individual participants, many businesses had also registered to take part and were planning to have sleep-overs in their office to raise awareness.
The awareness campaign would also run throughout the year through a website at www.abab.org.au and at the anywherebutabed Facebook page and on the anywhere-butabed Twitter account.