HIGH HOPES: Lismore Soup Kitchen volunteer Mieke Bell and Lismore Square centre manager Geoff Gooch put out a welcome message for The Northern Star Giant Homeless Sleepout.
HIGH HOPES: Lismore Soup Kitchen volunteer Mieke Bell and Lismore Square centre manager Geoff Gooch put out a welcome message for The Northern Star Giant Homeless Sleepout. Jacklyn Wagner

Big sleepout to aid homeless

GRAB your sleeping bags and PJ's and head to Lismore Shopping Square on Saturday week to support the Lismore Soup Kitchen in its efforts to establish low-cost housing for homeless people in the city.

The Northern Star's Giant Homeless Sleepout on August 29 has already gathered a lot of support from businesses within the Square.

“Helping people down on their luck is a very worthy cause, and our businesses have reacted accordingly,” centre manager Geoff Gooch said.

The sleepout, to be held in the centre's undercover car park, will have security on patrol during the night and organisers will also provide entertainment for all those, young and old, braving the conditions.

“Kmart has lent us a big screen TV for the night's extensive program,” Mr Gooch said.

“We'll probably be screening kid's shows up to 9pm, but organisers will most likely show more mature shows and movies after that,” he said.

Chess tournaments and music will be also provided on the night.

“All money raised will be donated to Lismore Soup Kitchen Incorporated,” Mr Gooch said.

Lismore Soup Kitchen volunteer of 20 years, Mieke Bell, said the support of businesses in the community meant a great deal.

“There are around 100 homeless people in Lismore with no crisis accommodation in town,” she said. “Establishing low-cost accommodation for homeless people has been a project we've been working on for six years.”

Ms Bell will be a guest speaker at the sleepout and will bring along a stretcher to spend the night on.

“There will also be a breakfast at the Lismore Soup Kitchen from 6am to 7am,” she said. “We'll be serving bacon and egg rolls and all funds raised from the sleepout, registration and the breakfast will go towards the low-cost accommodation we're trying to organise.”

Event details
• Tickets for the event are $25 for a family of four or $15 for singles. • The event is an alcohol and drug-free zone. • The sleepout will run from 6.30pm on Saturday, August 29, to 7am on Sunday, August 30. • Every person that registers will go into the draw to win a plethora of prizes.


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