School pupils from the High School of Dundee have swapped their beds for a night on the city’s streets.
The school-wide initiative saw 70 pupils, 18 families sleeping in their gardens and 30 five-year-olds spending an hour in the cold on Saturday to raise awareness of the issue and support the charity Steps to Hope.
The pupils said they aim to draw attention to the issues people experiencing homelessness face.
Teacher Karlene Douglas helped organise the sleep-out and said it’s important to take lessons out of the classroom.
She told STV News: “I think it’s so easy to become numb to the statistics when we’re in the classroom teaching about homelessness and addiction.
“It’s about challenging their perception and making them realise there are people out there that are in situations not through any fault of their own.
“And I think out pupils because we’re a city centre school walk past a lot of people who are rough sleeping on the streets in Dundee every day.
“So being able to connect what they’re learning in the classroom to what they’re seeing when they’re on their lunch break is really important.”
Saturday night’s sleep-out was inspired by charity founder Richie Roncerno’s campaign.
Since December, he has been sleeping rough in eight cities across the UK as part of a fundraising campaign for Steps to Hope.
The money raised will go towards a new centre to help people experiencing addiction and homelessness.
He said many of the people he has met have lost hope.
Mr Roncerno said: “They feel like the system’s failed them. I’ve experienced that when trying to take people off the streets and check them into hotels and they’re not allowed in because they appear to be rough sleepers.
“They don’t have ID to check into hotels. There’s people being released from prison without accommodation and it makes it easier for them to to aim for oblivion every day.”
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