On a cold winter’s night in 1988, a small but passionate group of Mission Australia (then known as Sydney City Mission) staff huddled together in the Sydney CBD for the first ever Sleepout.

Their goal was to raise awareness about Australia’s growing homelessness problem, and raise funds to support children, adults and families who didn’t have a safe place to rest their heads.

They could never have dreamed that in 2018 we’d be celebrating 30 years of the Sleepout, after raising more than $3 million and helping over five million disadvantaged Australians since that night.

Sadly, we also doubt they could believe that homelessness would have risen to crisis levels today…

Did you know that more than 105,000 Australians are homeless on any given night?1

That’s why we’re inviting you to join our special 30 Years of Sleepout celebration. This is your chance to continue the tradition started by those pioneering social justice warriors three decades ago, and support the vital work we’ve been doing with Australians in need for more than 155 years.

The Sleepout encourages people across the country to get sponsored for spending a night somewhere that isn’t their usual sleeping place, such as a classroom or office, school or church hall, or outside.

Hosting a Sleepout is a great way for you to make a positive impact in the community by raising awareness and critically needed funds for vital homelessness services

It’s also a fantastic opportunity to educate yourself and others about homelessness, and empower yourself to become a voice for positive change in our society.

Want to get involved but don’t want to sleep out? No worries! Why not host a 1988-themed party, collect a gold coin donation, hold a morning tea, or come up with a creative idea of your own?

Homelessness affects people of all ages, and we need people of all ages to work together to end it. That’s why we’re inviting you to join us, because it’s unacceptable that 105,000 Australians don’t have a secure place to call home.

RSVP today for our 30 Years of Sleepout celebrations to access all the resources you need. For more information, please call Georgia Carter on (02) 9217 1074 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

RSVP today

1 ABS Census of population and housing 2012: Estimating homelessness, 2011

Subscribe for the latest news

Related media releases

Read about what we’ve been working on, our stance on important social issues and how you make a difference to vulnerable Australians' lives.

Our founding purpose - 'Inspired by Jesus Christ, Mission Australia exists to meet human need and to spread the knowledge of the love of God'