The “One Night Without a Home” Sleep Out is an opportunity for participants to spend a night outside to discuss, think, and learn about homelessness. Although one night cannot in any way simulate homelessness, this awareness-raising activity can promote advocacy and education.
Register for a Sleep Out event here. Each participant will receive a personal fundraising page upon registration to share with their networks.
What is a sleepout?
A sleepout is an event where people take the place of youth experiencing homelessness in their community. They raise funds and awareness about the issue, and also participate in activities like food drives and letter writing to support the youth. These events can be organized by school groups, places of worship, workplaces, and community members. Those participating in the event typically set up their own fundraising page upon registration, which they can share with their networks to encourage them to donate. They also usually receive a sleeping bag to use during the event. The event is usually held in a parking lot or other outdoor space. Covenant House staff are onsite to support participants through the night. The following morning, participants wake up and reflect on their experience.
Can I build a sleepout on my property?
Adding a sleepout on your property can provide extra living space, and with land so expensive in Auckland it adds value too. It can be used as an office, art or photography studio, gym or even an additional bedroom for teenagers wanting their own space away from the main house.
If the sleepout has sanitary and cooking facilities then it can be considered a minor dwelling rather than just a sleepout, and it may need resource consent and building consent. Contact your local Council to check the specific requirements.
Once registered, you can share your fundraising page with family and friends, and post on social media to raise awareness of youth homelessness in your community. You will also receive a toolkit of resources to help you reach your target.
Can I rent out my sleepout?
Honeybone advises that it is possible to rent out a sleepout, however, it is important that a sleepout has been correctly consented and constructed for dwelling purposes separate from the house, and that it is fully self contained with its own stove, kitchen sink and bathroom. It is also important to make sure that the local authority has not imposed restrictions on the use of a sleepout as a dwelling. Landlords are required to comply with the Residential Tenancies Act and ensure that their tenants do not interfere with the peace, comfort or privacy of other dwellings on the same property.
Is a sleepout a dwelling in NZ?
Sleepouts are now a very popular feature in many New Zealand homes. Buyers are seeing them as a valuable extra space that adds value to their property.
However, it is important to note that a sleepout must comply with the Building Code and any relevant NZ standards. The rules vary from council to council so make sure you check with your local authority before you start a project.
For example, a shed or garden shed that is used for sleeping and does not contain facilities for cooking or sanitary disposal would require a building consent but a kitset cabin would not. The same is true if the structure is positioned more than its own height away from a boundary, fence or wall. You will also need to check if you need a resource consent.