Rainbow Youth’s General Manager extraordinaire Duncan Matthews will be sleeping rough this Thursday 7 July to raise awareness and funds to combat LGBTI youth homelessness in New Zealand with the 2016 Lifewise Big Sleep Out.
Alas, Matthews will not be doing it alone! He has assembled ‘Team Rainbow’, a group of prominent New Zealanders who are sleeping rough too.
“The Big Sleep Out is particularly relevant this year, with a lot of media coverage around struggles all people are facing finding housing, particularly here in Auckland. I want us to talk about the particular marginalisation and homelessness that many young LGBTI people experience. I was shocked to learn that research from the USA says that 26% of young people who come out to their family are kicked out.”
Statistics show that young people under 25 make up nearly 50% of the homeless population in New Zealand, an overseas studies estimate 20 – 40% of homeless youth are LGBTI compared to LGBTI being ~10% of the general population.
After doing the sleep out for the first time in 2015, Duncan wanted to have a larger impact than just awareness and a few dollars raised. By teaming up with Lifewise, the funds raised from Team Rainbow will go towards the first LGBTI youth homelessness intervention in New Zealand.
“I’m really thankful to the awesome team that has come together to participate in Team Rainbow! My target is that, together, we can raise $20,000 to go towards this project. It’s asking people to dig deep so that we can work to get young LGBTI people into long term, stable housing.”
Image | Sunlive