Light the path out of homelessness

Sign up for Sleep Under the Stars and raise money to help young Australians who need somewhere safe to live, learn and thrive.

What is Sleep Under the Stars?

Sleep Under the Stars is an annual national fundraising event that helps provide safety and support for young Australians facing homelessness.

Each year we organise somewhere to sleep out, come together and raise money for Stepping Stone House. The money you help raise goes directly to supporting young Australians, and making sure that when they turn to Stepping Stone House, they are supported with the very best level of care.

This year, we are sleeping out at Taronga Zoo Sydney on Friday 14 October! We can’t wait for you to join us!

And if you can’t attend in person, you’re invited to sleep on your couch, in your backyard, on your balcony or go camping with your family and join our virtual event online. You can Sleep Under the Stars anywhere you are – as long as it isn’t in the comfort of your own bed.

Show your friends and family that you’re prepared to sleep rough so that a young Australian doesn’t have to, ask for their support and raise money that changes lives.

Sign up now and join us at Taronga Zoo Sydney or at our online and live event on Friday 14 October. You can also sleep out any other night in October that suits you.

How do I take part?

 
 

Step 1: Sign up

Register online now. Join as a team or an individual. Participate in person at Taronga Zoo Sydney or virtually from the safety of a remote location chosen by yourself.

Step 2: Get support

When you sign up, you get your very own fundraising page. Share it with friends and family and let them know you’re sleeping rough to help young people facing homelessness.

Step 3: Sleep Under the Stars.

Join us at Taronga Zoo Sydney or choose a safe a place to sleep remotely on 14 October, and join in our virtual event online. You can also sleep out any other night in October that suits you.

Where can I sleep?

This year we’re excited to Sleep Under the Stars at Taronga Zoo Sydney!

But if you can’t join us there you can sleepout wherever it’s safe! You can choose to sleep on your sofa, in your backyard, your laundry, in a pillow fort or in a campsite. Gather your friends and family, colleagues or team anywhere you are!


How do I raise money?

As soon as you sign up, you get your own fundraising page and we’ll send you tools and tips to inspire your friends and families to support you.

Your supporters can also join you at the virtual event online, you can share your progress and keep fundraising as the stars come out.


What will happen on the night of 14th October?

On the night of 14th October, we will be holding our live event where everyone participating in Sleep Under the Stars is invited to come together at Taronga Zoo Sydney to hear from our staff, former young people and lots of special guests. For those of you sleeping out on the 14th October at a safe place of your choosing and joining our live virtual event, we recommend that you start setting up your ‘camp’ in the mid-afternoon. It’s a good idea to post pics of yourself in your shelter for your friends and family to see, to help lift your fundraising total throughout the night, and then share your reflections on social media the next morning. We hope you can stick it out by sleeping under the stars for the entire night, weather and safety permitting, of course.


What happens if I choose to sleep out on a different night in October?

It is totally fine to sleep out on any other night in October. We know that life happens, so please feel free to choose a night that suits you best! Keep in touch with the Sleep Under the Stars event and campaign by following our social media channels, your event emails and join our Facebook Group: Stepping Stone House’s Sleep Under The Stars 2022.


What’s the goal?

You’ll be helping reach the target of $1,200,000 to allow 48 young people to stay at Stepping Stone House this year.


More questions?

See the FAQs below for all the answers.

FAQs

  • Who can participate in Sleep Under the Stars?
    • Anyone and everyone! We welcome businesses, community groups, sports teams, friends and individuals. Families and young people are more than welcome. People under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult or guardian over 18 years old.

  • Why should I get involved? Why is this event so important?
    • Youth homelessness, in a country such as Australia, is unacceptably prevalent. The overall homeless population is estimated at 116,000 and a whopping 38% of this figure is aged under 25.

      At Stepping Stone House, we believe that everybody deserves to be given the greatest chance of building their own life in a safe and secure environment. For over 30 years, Stepping Stone House has helped over 500 young people to become self-sufficient and educated young adults. Through educational development, adventure programs, community volunteering, mentoring and counselling, we equip young people with the self-care and life skills they need to reach independence and become the very best they can be.

  • Why do I need to register?
    • Every participant must be registered online so that we can keep you updated with event news and send you the link to our special live online event. We will also be able to send you fundraising tips and welcome you into our online community of like-minded participants and supporters of Stepping Stone House. Remember, the earlier you register, the more time you have to fundraise and recruit friends to join you.

  • Do I need to fundraise?
    • Yes, there is an expectation that you will fundraise to help Stepping Stone House continue to provide assistance to vulnerable young people. We ask that at a mimimum all participants over 18 years fundraise $200 to gain entry to Taronga Zoo Sydney. But don’t be intimidated, we’ll give you plenty of tips and advice on fundraising along the way.

      Fundraising doesn’t just raise money, it also helps to spread awareness on the issue of youth homelessness. By fundraising, you are joining an important movement. You are saying publicly and proudly that you believe access to safe and stable housing is a fundamental right of youth across the country.

  • What is the fundraising target for the 2022 event?
    • Our goal is to raise over $1,200,000 to accommodate and support 48 more at-risk youth for an entire year – and we need your help!

      That support includes:

      • Accommodation
      • Therapeutic care
      • Courses to develop self-belief and confidence to achieve their dreams
      • Adventure education to develop resilience
      • A personal mentor
      • Employability skills and career counselling
      • Life skills development
      • Case worker support
      • Free driving lessons
      • Volunteering opportunities

      Please continue to visit our homepage for updates on how we are tracking against this target.

  • Where should I sleep out?
    • If you can’t join us at Taronga Zoo Sydney, you are welcome to sleepout wherever it’s safe! You can choose to sleep in your backyard, your laundry, on the sofa or in a campsite – the options are only limited by your imagination. Remember, your team doesn’t have to sleep in the same place as you. You can join your friends or work colleagues in a virtual group zoom and share your sleep out experiences online.

  • Who can sleep out with me?
    • It’s up to you. You can fly solo, provided that it’s safe. Or you can group together with your family or a small number of friends.

  • Can I sleep out on any night in October?
    • It is totally fine to sleep out on any other night in October. We know that life happens as well, so please feel free to choose a night that suits you best! Keep in touch with the Sleep Under the Stars event and campaign by following our social media channels, your event emails and join our Facebook Group: Stepping Stone House’s Sleep Under The Stars 2022.

  • What time do I need to set up?
    • If you are joining us as Taronga Zoo Sydney you are welcome to set up from 5pm on the 14th October.

      If you are joining us remotely from a safe place that you have chosen, you can set up whenever you like – but please make sure you’re free to connect with our online presentation to hear firsthand stories of the people you鬬 be assisting by sleeping out. We’ll be in touch closer to the event with the event timings.

  • How long does the event go for?
    • The Sleepout part of the event runs all night! Whether you are joining us at Taronga Zoo Sydney or from a safe place of your choosing we’ll let you know closer to the event what the event timings will be. We encourage you to continue to engage with our online community throughout the night and in the morning, to share in the atmosphere and see the ways other people have interpreted the Sleepout experience.

  • What will I need?
    • For those of you joining us at Taronga Zoo Sydney on Friday 14 October, we suggest that you bring a sleeping bag and pillow, sleeping mat, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks, decorations for your shelter, a change of clothes and toiletries. A sausage sizzle and soup will be available for purchase at dinnertime and we’ll be treating you to a BBQ breakfast. Kennards Self Storage are once again generously sponsoring the event and will provide six boxes per member of each team to build your shelter with. These can be collected upon checking into the event.

      If you are participating at a place of your choosing, we welcome you to exercise creativity around what you use as shelter. You may wish to sleep completely under the stars with just a sleeping bag between you and the night sky. You may pitch a tent in your backyard or the wilderness. You may wish to tie a tarp between trees, or build a shelter from cardboard boxes or sheets. The more creative the better!

  • What will be expected of me on the night?
    • It’s up to you as to how involved in the Sleep Under the Stars community you become. If you are joining us at Taronga Zoo Sydney you can join us from 5pm on the 14th October to set up your shelter. If you are joining us from a safe place that you have chosen, we recommend that you start setting up your ‘camp’ in the mid㡦ternoon and ensure you’re available for our online event proceedings – we’ll be in touch closer to the event with the event timings. We also encourage you to post pics of yourself in your shelter to your friends and family to lift your fundraising total throughout the night.

  • What will happen during the event?
    • You’ll hear firsthand stories from brave and inspiring people about their own journeys through youth homelessness. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions about Stepping Stone House and our programs.

      As proceedings are also available to view online, we welcome you to invite your donors and supporters so that they can share in the experience too; it’s going to be a highly memorable event! As a participant, you’re automatically registered; everyone else can register by clicking here.