Vodafone Pacific Music Award’s most promising artist of 2017 Tommy Nee has written a song for the Lifewise Big Sleepout campaign with all the funds raised from downloads going towards ending youth homelessness.
Walk With You was commissioned by Big Sleepout participant and AUT director of business relations Sarah Trotman ONZM, and is a song on the challenges of being homeless. Sarah has done the Big Sleepout for the past eight years. She met Nuiean soul, pop artist Tommy last year, loved his music and asked him to write her a single for the 2017 Big Sleepout campaign.
The single recounts Sarah’s experiences with homelessness from owning a boarding house in Auckland in the early 2000s, to helping a young mother and child sleeping in a car.
“Over the years I’ve had many encounters with the homeless community in Auckland. Owning a boarding house I learnt many life lessons, and that luck has so much to do with how we live our lives. There are too many homeless people in our country, we need to be part of the solution,” says Sarah.
Tommy says he uses his music to provide discussion and challenge the status quo.
“Homelessness is a topic close to me. I believe music is powerful beyond words and I wanted to be part of positive change. We need to start talking about youth homelessness and actually do something about it.”
The Lifewise Big Sleepout will take place on Thursday 6th July when more than 100 business, community and political leaders and influencers will spend a night on cold concrete at the AUT City Campus to get an insight into what it means to sleep rough while raising critical funds to tackle youth homelessness.
It is estimated that more than 41,000 people in New Zealand have no place to call home, and more than half of them are under the age of 25, with a quarter being children.
Lifewise CEO Moira Lawler says, “Unless something is done, youth homelessness will continue to increase. Our most vulnerable are hit the hardest by the housing crisis. Most of the homeless youth Lifewise meets are teenagers, left to fend for themselves. Homelessness could rob these young people of a future.”
To help AUT's Big Sleep Out team raise money towards solving homelessness, donate here.