Braving the big chill

September/October 2017 edition

Sleeping on cardboard and wet sand in the middle of winter with the wind howling is definitely not something the average real estate agent is used to. But more than 180 agents took up the challenge to hit the sack on chilly Bondi Beach on 24 July 2017 to help youth in need.

The Real Estate Sleep Out is the brainchild of Damien Cooley, Director of Cooley Auctions and REINSW Director, and raises money and awareness for Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets. Passionate about Father Chris’s work, Mr Cooley has a longstanding relationship with Youth Off The Streets and has always been one of the charity’s most active fundraisers.

“Last year’s inaugural Real Estate Sleep Out saw 104 agents raise more than $134,000 for Youth Off The Streets,” Mr Cooley said. “We’ve doubled that this year, raising more than $277,000.

“Events like the Real Estate Sleep Out go a long way to keeping organisations like Youth Off The Streets alive. They rely on people like us. The Sleep Out is as much about raising money as it is about spreading awareness of the incredible work Father Chris and his team do.”

Father Chris was there before lights out to talk to participants and introduce them to a number of young folk from the Bankstown Youth Off The Streets program. After a night sleeping rough on cardboard boxes supplied by Storage King Eastgardens, the agents enjoyed a barbeque brekkie at North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club served up by local club members.

Giving kids in crisis a chance

Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets is a non-denominational community organisation working for disadvantaged young people between the ages of 12 and 22 years who may be homeless, drug dependent and/or recovering from abuse.

Youth Off The Streets supports these young people as they work to turn their lives around and overcome immense personal trauma such as neglect, physical, psychological and/or emotional abuse. Their goal is that young people leave their care drug free, with a high school education, living skills and a full-time or part-time job in hand.

Since opening in 1991, Youth Off The Streets has grown from a single food van delivering meals to young homeless people on the streets of Kings Cross to a major youth agency offering a full continuum of care through the delivery of a wide range of services.
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