Jesse O'Neil and Nicola Stanfield will sleep in their car tonight to raise awareness of homelessness.
Jesse O'Neil and Nicola Stanfield will sleep in their car tonight to raise awareness of homelessness. John McCutcheon

Experience a taste of homelessness at charity fundraiser

ABOUT 60 Sunshine Coast residents will experience a taste of the cold, harsh reality of homelessness tonight when they sleep in their cars for charity.

Two fundraising events are being held in Buderim and Nambour to raise awareness of the number of homeless doing it tough on the Coast, while also raising funds for The Shack in Nambour which works with locals experiencing homelessness, and Fusion Sunshine Coast's preventative youth programs.

It is estimated about 1600 people on the Coast are homeless, with many going unseen or hidden from public view as they find refuge in their cars, in tents, deserted buildings or on someone else's couch.

Fusion Sunshine Coast team leader Jesse O'Neil said by joining in the Sleep In Your Car events it would soon become clear to participants how difficult being homeless can be.

"It's cold and pretty tough. If it rains it's horrible, because it gets stuffy and you want to crack open the windows but then you get wet,” he explained.

"It's not fun and that's what we're trying to give to people a chance to experience.”

Mr O'Neil said they were hoping to raise $15,000 from the Sleep In Your Car events, with almost $4500 raised so far.

The Buderim event is being held at the University of the Sunshine Coast from 7pm, with gates to close at 10pm.

The Nambour event will be on at The Shack, at 19 Price St, from 4.30pm with activities including touch footy, a free BBQ dinner with some of The Shack's homeless clients joining participants in the sleep out and a drive-in movie.

For more information or to donate visit www.sleepinyourcar.com.au.