PEOPLE from across the area will sleep rough tonight to help raise awareness as well as vital funds for homeless charities.
Over 150 Teessiders are expected to gather on Friday 21st November at Middlesbrough College for The Big Tees Sleepout, an event in aid of showing solidarity and the growing gap between the rich and the poor.
Volunteers are asked to give up their home comforts and take part in the fourth event which has seen the last three raise £35,000 for local people in desperate need.
Organised by the Teesside Philanthropic Foundation the event was set up in aid of changing lives and to help make Teesside a fairer place.
Entrepreneur and Chairman of the organisation, Andy Preston said: “The idea of the Big Sleepout and the charity is that we can help relieve some of the significant poverty that is happening across Teesside.
“Where we live there isn’t a large amount of rough sleepers, homelessness in this area is largely about living in hostels.
“We’ve raised a lot of money over the last four years and with that we help stock local food banks, sporting activities that are set up to help those recovering from addiction as well as work with groups such as the Salvation Army to help buy Christmas presents for children.”
Participants are advised to bring a sleeping bag and to wear warm layers, including hats, scarves and gloves.
The sleepout will take place between 8pm and 6am where both hot and cold drinks will be provided and toilet facilities available.
Money raised will go to a range of charities, including: Middlesbrough Homeless and Recovery League, the Salvation Army’s Christmas appeal and the Stockton-based Moses Project that puts on Christmas Day lunch for addicts, homeless people and struggling families.