Sleep the night in a Brisbane Airport carpark
Challenge to tackle homelessness for women 55+
Brisbane’s Lady Mayoress is challenging Brisbane residents to spend the night in their car at a Brisbane Airport carpark, to raise money and awareness for women over 55 who are experiencing homelessness.
The 2023 “Live Like Her Challenge” will be held at Brisbane Airport’s Skygate multi-deck car park on 7 September 2023.
The event is run by ‘The Forgotten Women’, a Brisbane based charity committed to helping put a roof over the heads of women over 55 years of age.
“Right now, there are more than 700 women over the age of 55 in Brisbane who don’t have a safe and secure place to sleep at night, and this number is expected to more than double” according to Lady Mayoress Nina Schrinner, Patron of ‘The Forgotten Women’.
“These women are living in cars, couch surfing and physically hiding due to the terrifying threat of family and domestic violence. They could be our mothers, aunts, sisters and daughters and we have a duty to help them.”
“A car is not a home, but this is a reality for too many women and by living like her for one night, we can make sure nobody else has to.”
“I’m urging people to join me by registering for the ‘Live Like Her Challenge’ and help raise funds for the fastest growing homeless population in Australia,” she said.
The fundraising event is in its second year, and the first at Brisbane Airport.
“We all have two choices when it comes to homelessness. Either pretend the issue doesn’t exist or we try and make a difference,” according to Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO, Gert-Jan de Graaff.
“Brisbane Airport is honoured to host the 2023 ‘Live Like Her Challenge’ because it means the event now has space for hundreds more participants than last year, and that means greater help for the women of Brisbane.”
“24,000 people come to work at Brisbane Airport every day. I’d love to see some of them sleep the night here too, so I’m putting the challenge out to the 425 businesses at BNE to get behind this event and make a difference. It won’t be comfortable, but it will be rewarding,” he said.
The Forgotten Women’ founder Teresa Reed says that Challenge is extended to businesses and people across Brisbane.
“It is my hope that the ‘Live Like Her Challenge’ will help this vulnerable demographic be seen, heard, loved, and most importantly supported through ensuring that homelessness is but a chapter in these women’s lives,” Ms Reed said.
“We want these women to be able to live with dignity and age securely in place, as every person deserves,” she said.
Attending today's launch, two women who fell into difficulty and have been assisted by The Forgotten Women.
Robyn Shields: “I’m 74 and to find myself thinking I’d be homeless was just horrendous. I’d tried everything that I could and I didn’t have much money because my husband had passed away, rent had just gone up ridiculously, and I was still trying to pay the bills, with difficulty actually with all sorts of other things putting pressure on me along the way. I’m just so happy to have somewhere to go to.”
Linda Leftwich: “This is a great event to help realise the full extent of homelessness and to realise it could happen to them or their mothers and that they need to help out and donate. I ended up here because of the housing crisis. I had moved 6 times in 3 years trying to find some permanent accommodation. When I did find it in Brisbane, before the year was up on my first lease, we were kicked out because the owner wanted to rent the house to refugees at 33% increase in rent, so that put me back in the difficult situation again.”
Brisbane Airport has kicked off the challenge with a $5,000 donation, as well as providing its car park and services for the event, with three executive leaders committing to be part of the challenge.
Registrations for the Live Like Her Challenge: livelikeherchallenge.com.au
Media assets available to download here.