On Thursday 16th May, Australia's largest mass sleepover had its biggest year yet as nearly 2,000 Melburnians spent the night on the cold concrete floor of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), raising $1.1million to help put youth homelessness to bed.
The seventh year the MCG has hosted Melbourne City Mission's Sleep At The 'G, the event welcomed locals from across the city to spend the night with only the comfort of a cardboard box, to raise awareness and vital funds for the 6,000 young people sleeping rough every night.
At the 11pm 'lights off curfew", this year's event attracted 1,938 united sleepers, an increase from the 1,500 sleepers in 2018.
And while Sleep At The 'G is over for another year, there are still two weeks left to donate and help MCM reach its ambitious fundraising target of $1.2 million.
"Sleep At The 'G participants braved the cold, laid down their cardboard box and spent a night learning about the issues facing young people, with no place to call home, and experienced a small glimpse of what it's like to sleep rough," said Vicki Sutton, Chief Executive, Melbourne City Mission.
"Every night in Victoria, there are 6,000 young people experiencing homelessness, and this isn't good enough. Sleep At The 'G is an opportunity to come together and express our collective support for some of Victoria's most vulnerable young people who have nowhere safe to sleep," Ms Sutton added.
Every dollar raised will go towards building and furnishing MCM's crisis accommodation centres across the city, a step towards ensuring those at risk of homelessness will have the support they need.
With two out of five people experiencing homelessness under the age of 25, it's more important than ever to raise funds for these youth support services.
Melbourne City Mission encourages everyone to help put youth homelessness to bed by donating at www.sleepattheg.com.au