Last night, I slept on this couch. It was small, exposed and the light and sounds around me made it hard to fall asleep. When I awoke the feeling of restfulness was fleeting as I began to realise that I wasn’t in my comfy bed but instead I was tucked up on a couch and suddenly I didn’t feel rested at all.

My one night out the couch to raise awareness is the reality for many, night after night. Couch surfing can often be the first step towards sleeping on the streets, yet what some don’t realise is that couch surfing and calling mates living room home is a form of homelessness as well.

To be honest, I didn’t think this would be as hard as it was. I’ve slept on many couches before, in fact even my living room couch is more comfortable than the fold out bed next to it but last night was a struggle to relax enough to fall asleep. I said goodnight at 11:30 but before I knew it, 1 am came and I was still wide awake. Yet I would do it all again.

This is the couch project. One night on the couch to raise money for youth homelessness and The Oasis Youth Support Network in Surry Hills, Sydney. There are over 44,000 homeless young people in Australia and behind that statistic there are names, and faces, and stories. Through Oasis, hope and opportunity is given for young people to re-shape and re-invision their futures.

And it’s happening all again next weekend for sleep out 2.0, so if you want to get on board there is still time. Head on over to the couchproject.com.au and sign up. Every little bit makes the world of difference to those who need it most.

Remember, it’s not a sleepover if you can’t go home.