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With the industry gearing up for the first-ever Brisbane Backseat SleepOut on 26 October, we spoke to Lewis Bold, Senior Town Planner, Saunders Havill Group about their sponsorship of the event.

Why did Saunders Havill Group want to sponsor this year’s inaugural Backseat SleepOut as a Major Partner?

There are many charities that do great work across a range of different issues but the Foundation and their action for homeless youth appealed to us – for the immediate impact their projects have on youth homelessness, and because many of us are parents with children that we would hope others would help had the roles been reversed. We believe that every young person deserves a safe and stable place to call home. We wanted to become a Major Partner, to demonstrate our commitment to addressing this issue and to encourage others in the property and construction industry to join us in making a difference.

How does this event help us to reflect on the lives of the hidden homeless?

Most of us are very fortunate to have the security and comfort of a roof over our heads. It’s easy to forget that there are people living in cars and tents, often for reasons out of their control. Experiencing a night in their situation puts things into perspective. It’s a powerful tool for awareness and an opportunity to bring together industry peers who may not typically interact.

What would you say to encourage anyone thinking about joining the Backseat SleepOut?

By participating, you are helping to provide the safe and stable housing and support systems that young people need to pull themselves out of the spiral of homelessness. If you can’t make it to the SleepOut, I would encourage you to participate in other Property Industry Foundation events or make whatever donation you can spare. It’s a small sacrifice we can make for young people experiencing homelessness.