A GROUP of Sydneysiders will spend a night sleeping under the Harbour Bridge next month to support homeless LGBTI youth.

Stepping Stone House will again host its annual ‘Sleep Under the Stars’ fundraiser, helping to raise awareness for youth at risk – including LGBTI youth – and youth homelessness in Sydney.

A large number of homeless people identify as LGBTI and have been forced to leave home as a result of their sexuality or gender identity.

Chief Executive of Stepping Stone House, Jason Juretic, said many homeless people in Australia are also quite young.

“More than 40 per cent of our homeless people in Australia are under 25,” he said.

“Our Sleep Under the Stars fundraiser is a fantastic way to empathise with what it’s like to have nowhere to go and no-one to turn to.

“A situation that many of our young people find themselves in before they come to us.”

For one night, those who sign up for the fundraising event will sleep at Hickson Reserve under the Sydney Harbour Bridge with the Stepping Stone House family.

Last year’s event raised $54,000, helping Stepping Stone House to provide care and education for four extra teenagers for a whole year.

The money raised each year helps to fund mentorship, adventure education, learning and development programs, and community volunteering.

“An amazing 87 per cent of our youth complete Year 12, compared to teens in similar circumstances,” Juretic said.

“Fundraisers like the sleep out make all the difference in ensuring that our young people have a secure and sustainable life path.”

Stepping Stone House is a Sydney-based organisation for youth at risk, helping vulnerable youth ages 12 – 24, many of whom have been homeless and are unable to live with their families.

In many cases it acts as a ‘home away from home’ where young people stay for years as part of a dedicated family.

This year’s ‘Sleep Under the Stars’ will be on Friday October 7. Sign up or donate to the cause.

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