More than 180 real estate professionals swapped a roof over their heads for the sand of Bondi Beach on Monday 24 July. It’s their job to find homes for people, but the participants of the second annual Real Estate Sleep Out gave up their cosy homes to raise funds for Youth Off The Streets.
The Sleep Out has currently raised over $ 263,245.51 for Youth Off Streets, more than doubling the first year’s efforts. Sleeping rough on Bondi Beach is no easy task with temperatures reaching lows of 8 degrees overnight. The low temperature was made worse by winds whipping off the Bondi Surf.
Damien Cooley, Cooley Auctions, organised the event and said that even though it was cold they only had to deal with it for one night and he couldn’t imagine what young people go through when dealing with it every night of the week.
“The Sleep Out was a really incredible experience. I think it got down to about 8 degrees overnight. Whilst it was cold and whilst we slept rough for one night, I guess when you put it into perspective it’s really nothing compared to what some people have to go through every night of their lives,” he says.
“An event like this really connects people to the cause of Youth Off The Streets. It’s all about taking kids off the streets and giving them a second chance at life. Obviously, Youth Off The Streets has developed into a much larger organisation that it’s not just about taking kids off the streets. Last night’s experience is about connecting people to the core foundation of the organisation.”
The feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive. Many said it is something that everyone needs to experience. It really opens the mind to how lucky we are and how tough some others have it in this world.
Here are some select quotes from the participants just after waking up on the Tuesday:
“The Sleep Out really put things into perspective how lucky I am to have a roof over my head and hearing some of the stories from Father Chris Riley last night. It’s just such a worthy charity and I’m quite happy and proud to be here.” – Eleni Afford
“Thank God I only have to do this for one night a year. I feel sorry for the people that have to do it every night… It’s not easy. It makes you realise you’re grateful for what you have. I’d recommend everyone get involved, it opens your mind.” – Simon Saad
“I was warm, I had a good sleeping bag. What went through my head was; I’ve got all the gear, what happens to those who don’t have the gear? That was a bit of an eye opener, you know! And we’re in a big group – if you’re on your own then there is a fear factor there as well.” – Jake Moore
“This was my first sleep out. Last year I didn’t participate and I regretted it. This year, I definitely have no regrets. Next year, I’ll spread the word more and raise more money.” – Nick Estephen
“We had security, we had a whole crew, we had sleeping bags, but if you had to do it (sleep rough) for real it would be terrible.” – Mark (from Cronulla)
We’d like to thank everyone who participated and donated to the Real Estate Sleep Out. It means a great deal to us to have such great supporters. We’re looking forward to this event growing in the future and getting more real estate professionals involved!