Find out what it is like to be homeless at Ipswich sleep out event

PUBLISHED: 19:37 24 January 2019 | UPDATED: 19:51 24 January 2019

YMCA Trinity Group is holding a sleep out at Portman Road in Ipswich. Picture: IAN BURT

YMCA Trinity Group is holding a sleep out at Portman Road in Ipswich. Picture: IAN BURT

Archant 2018

It is something we all dread and hope we will never have to experience.

But now a charity is urging people to give up warmth and comfort for just one night so we can feel greater empathy with those who a regularly forced to sleep rough in freezing cold conditions.

YMCA Trinity Group’s Sleep Easy event at Ipswich Town Football Club’s Portman Road ground on Friday, March 8 is designed to raise money for the charity’s work finding accommodation for homeless people.

But it is also hoped the event on Friday, March 8, which starts at 7pm, will allow people to gain a greater understanding of just how hard life is on the streets, particularly in freezing cold temperatures.

It follows a similar event which was held by the Benjamin Foundation in the car park of Birketts’ Ipswich office on Friday, November 2.

Jonathan Martin, YMCA Trinity Group chief executive, said: “Most people might be surprised to realise that most homeless people don’t in fact live on the street.

“Almost 70% live in temporary accommodation, and that’s where YMCA provides vital support.

“Our Sleep Easy event is all about raising awareness of the plight of homelessness among young people – they are often the most affected by this situation, often moving from place to place and staying on a friend’s sofa.

“Our aim is to help young people realise their full potential and we’re calling on our local community to sign up to help us support young people today and into the future.”

From 2017-18 the charity housed and supported over 650 people in its supported accommodation across the region.

Lee O’Neill, general manager football operations at Ipswich Town Football Club, added: “Homelessness is such a big issue in our town – and it’s not just a problem that is faced in the winter, as we may often suspect.

“We’re inviting all of our local community to take part in this major fundraising event, from which we hope to raise over £10,000 for YMCA Trinity Group, all with the aim of combatting youth homelessness in Ipswich.”

Participants will be provided with hot refreshments, entertainment and materials to make a shelter. Sleeping outside,

To sign up for Sleep Easy, see here.

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