Sleepout 2022

Could you face sleeping outside for one night in November so a young person doesn’t have to?

Challenge yourself and help us to end youth homelessness.

MACS Supporting Children and Young People challenge you to give up your bed and sleep out in recognition, not replication, of homelessness this Winter.

MACS is a member charity of End Youth Homelessness, a UK-wide movement which brings together local charities to tackle the issue of youth homelessness on a national scale.

Post-pandemic we are very happy to be able to invite you, your friends and colleagues to join us for a group event at Banana Block in Belfast this year. Sleep Out is a fun evening, with lots of entertainment, food and hot drinks until 11pm. After 11pm you’ll begin the challenge of sleeping out.

This year, in response to queries in previous years, we are also inviting children over the age of 10 to take part, if accompanied by a parent on a maximum 2 children to 1 adult ratio.

And, if you can’t come along to Banana Block on the 24th, we are inviting you to hold your own Sleep Out on any date throughout November. Just sign up via the free registration option here, on Eventbrite. We’ll contact you with help and resources to arrange a Sleep Out in your own space, whether that be in a tent in your garden, back yard, living room or by gathering a group of friends and colleagues to spend a night in your workplace, work carpark , school or community centre (with permission).

We want to end youth homelessness! MACS are tackling the problem locally. MACS provided a home and support to over 1000 vulnerable young people across NI last year. We don’t just provide homes and access to housing, we support their education, health and wellbeing; training and careers and ensure they have life skills such as shopping, cooking and being able to budget their money so they can leave MACS housing and support services to forge an independent life.

In 2021 MACS won the ‘Excellence in Housing Innovation’ for our Shared Tenancy scheme matching young people to live with others in social or private tenancies. With End Youth Homelessness support MACS give young people a ‘rent deposit’ – paying deposits or rent in advance can be very prohibitive to young people trying to access the rental market. MACS works with private landlords and young people to support their tenancies as they often lack parents or guardians who are able to fulfil this necessary role.

With the right opportunities and support, homeless young people can turn their lives around and build successful futures.

3800 young people present as homeless each year across Northern. Some of these don’t meet the requirements for statutory housing whilst many more are ‘sofa surfing’ or at risk of becoming homeless, so the true numbers are difficult to quantify but we know they’re on the rise. The housing and cost of living crises are driving homelessness across all ages but young people’s journey into homelessness can involve a complex history of family conflict, abuse, relationship breakdown, self-esteem and mental health issues, generational poverty, trauma and low levels of educational attainment and employment. Once young people experience homelessness their risk of drug misuse, poor mental health, self-harm and involvement in crime increases as does their risk of becoming long-term or street homeless.

MACS’ focus is on early intervention; in helping young people build a pathway out of the homelessness cycle. We support them in regaining stability and security and progressing with their lives and ambitions.

Every single person taking part and raising money will make a difference in the lives of homeless young people throughout Northern Ireland.

Sleep Out is not intended to replicate the experience of being homeless. It would be impossible to recreate the fear, loneliness and discomfort of not having a safe place to call home. Sleep Out does, however, provide a small glimpse into this reality. Spending a night away from your bed will likely leave you feeling uncomfortable and tired. You realise how hard it is to go to work and manage your life even when, ultimately, you know you’re safe; which is not always the case for homeless young people.

Every penny helps! In today’s climate of funding cuts, rising costs of living and political uncertainty, fundraising has become more important than ever if we are to continue the work MACS NI does in this region.

Thank you for making a difference to young lives!

Register Now at EventBrite.

Thursday, 24 November 2022
Banana Block
Registration from Free to £20
Register Now.