What is The Roughin’ It Challenge?

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The Roughin’ it Challenge is a unique experience that will challenge your ideas about homelessness and helps end rough sleeping in Melbourne.

Living with no bed, one bag and less than $10 a day, you will show solidarity with people who have nowhere safe to sleep. You will be tested for 24 hours (you pick the date), with insights into the challenges of sleep deprivation, hunger and limited possessions. There’ll be surprises along the way – both welcome and not – that open your mind, prompt conversations and build your understanding and compassion for others.

We’ll encourage you to ask friends, family and colleagues to join, sponsor and donate to your challenge. All funds raised support the Melbourne Zero movement to end homelessness in our city.

Is the challenge COVID safe? Are there health risks?

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Participating in the Roughin’ it Challenge is safe if you follow the rules. Please pay particular attention to the guidance on where to do your challenge - only on property you or someone from your group owns or rents. It could be in your front or back yard, in your car, office or another space within the bounds of your property. NOT in a public space.

Please ensure you stay up to date and comply with the latest COVID guidelines in your area.  Check your local area’s relevant government website for information.

Your safety comes first. Please take care of yourself before, during and after the challenge and do not endanger your health.

If you have any concerns about your safety or health, seek medical advice for your circumstances before participating.

When is The Roughin’ It Challenge?

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Your Roughin it Challenge can take place on the date that you choose. Pick a 24 hour period that best suits you and your group. Select this date when you register for the Roughin’ It Challenge, so we can send you the right info at the right time to make the very most of your challenge.

Consider choosing a date that may help increase the impact and interest for you, your group and your network. Youth Homelessness Matters Day (April), National Homelessness Week (August) and World Homelessness Day (October) are all important dates on the calendar across Australia.

Can l do the challenge in a park or public space?

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No. For safety and legal reasons, you cannot participate in the Roughin’ it Challenge in a public space.

It must be within the grounds of a property you or someone from your Group owns or rents.  It could be in your front or back yard, in your car, office or another space within the bounds of your property.

Wherever location you choose, it’s important to consider your safety and don’t put yourself or others at any risk.

How do I register?

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Follow any of the ‘Sign Up!’ links on this website to get started.

What will I do while I’m Roughin’ it?

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For a full explanation of what you’ll be asked to do, please refer to our Take Part page.

Were people with lived experience consulted for The Roughin' It Challenge?

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The Roughin' It Challenge was developed in consultation with the Lived Experience Advisory Program (LEAP) participants, who also provided guidance on additional tasks for the challenge known as 'Game Changers' - extra challenges which aim to provide more insight into the experience of homelessness and just how tough it can be.

How long do I have to Rough it for?

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One day (24 hours) on the date of your choice.


Can l do the challenge from any state in Australia?

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Absolutely yes. The Roughin’ It Challenge is available to anyone in Australia to participate.

How many people can I have in my team?

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There is no minimum or maximum limit on the number of people who can join a team.

New teams can be created when registering or you can join an existing team by searching for the team name in the search bar.

Is the event free?

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Yes, it is free to register for the Roughin’ it Challenge. What are you waiting for?

How does the money I raise help to end homelessness?

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All money raised through the Roughin’ it Challenge will support the Melbourne Zero movement to end homelessness in our city. Find out more at Melbourne Zero.

What will it be like to rough it?

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We won’t lie - Roughin’ it will be tough. But that’s why it’s a challenge!

You may not sleep well without your bed. You won’t be able to use all of your usual creature comforts. There won’t be much money to spend on food or essentials.

You may experience hunger, tiredness and fear.

But you will get a rare opportunity to open your mind to the experience of other people in your city, those who have no place to call home. You will be prompted to consider, explore and discuss challenging questions with others. You will develop insights and empathy. And you will be prompted to help catalyse change by raising much needed funds to help end homelessness in Melbourne.

What else can I do to help?

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Taking part in the Roughin’ it Challenge is just one of the actions you can take as part of the Melbourne Zero movement to end homelessness in Melbourne. Add your voice to the movement today, and access resources, ideas and actions to help change hearts and minds, correct misperceptions and inspire change to make Melbourne a world-leading city in ending homelessness. For more information on please visit MelbourneZero.org.au.

How can l create or join a team?

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  1. Click 'Sign Up' and fill out the form.
  2. If you're from a workplace, enter the details during signup.
  3. At the end of signup, you'll see an option to create a team or join a team.
  4. Fill out the teams form and confirm.
  5. Tell your mates the team name so they can join!
  6. For more information how to set up a team page, click here.
  7. If you need help, please contact roughit@launchhousing.org.au 

My donation is not recorded correctly.  What can I do?

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Please contact the Roughin’ It Challenge team at roughit@launchhousing.org.au to detail the issue and we can help sort it out.

How can I stay up to date with participant information, hints and tips?

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The best place for all challenge related information is your participant hub – when logged in, you’ll see this on the upper right hand side of the website.  From there you can view a host of options including details on Game Changers and other helpful bits of info.

I can no longer do the challenge.  How do I remove my profile and what happens to my donations?

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Please contact us at roughit@launchhousing.org.au to remove your registration.  Your donations can be redirected to a general challenge donation or we can arrange for reimbursement if needed.

How can I fix a problem with my profile?

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Please contact the Roughin’ It Challenge team at roughit@launchhousing.org.au to detail the issue and we can help sort it out.