Byamee hosts Amazing Race to raise awareness about homelessness

Another successful Hike for Homeless campaign has drawn to a close, after the Amazing Race kicked off in Moree on Saturday.

For the past five years, Byamee has hosted the annual event in support of Homelessness Prevention Week. Its trademark Hike for Homeless event has seen participants walk to places like Tamworth and Ashley in a bid to raise awareness about homelessness.

This time around, Byamee decided to scale back the long distance hike, and introduced the Amazing Race.

Six teams of up to four members sped around Moree to complete puzzles, before they progressed to the next checkpoint along the eight kilometre circuit.

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“They started off at Apex Park where they had to set up a tent,” Byamee manager Jo Williams said.

“They had to set up a tent because that’s often what homeless people live in.”

A taste-test followed at Greenbah Store, where race-goers had to identify foods such as anchovies, avocado and sheep tongue.

“After that they went to the Lifehouse store. They were given a budget and had to dress up a team member,” Ms Williams said.

“They then went to McDonald’s, and the teams had to empty rubbish bins, clean tables and help out at the drive thru.”

At the laundromat on Alice Street, teams raced to fold clothes: the activity was a reminder of the few possessions that homeless people keep in their lives.

A trip to Byamee, Woolworths and Mary Brand Park followed before the teams made it back to Apex Park where they had to dismantle the tents.

“Woolworths was running their own fundraiser on the day, for drought-relief,” Ms Williams said.

“When the teams came to the supermarket, they had to help out with the fundraiser. A cap was set at $10 per team, but one of them managed to raise more than $50.

“Because droughts are significant events that can make people homeless, we thought it would be good to help raise money.”

Aboriginal Employment Strategy also hosted a Charity Bake Sale at Apex Park, as part of the Hike for Homeless campaign.

The stall managed to draw in about $680. Ms Williams said the money would be put towards men’s crisis accommodation.

She thanked the sponsors McDonald’s, Flourish, 2VM and 2FM for their generous support on the day. 

“It was extremely successful. Everybody I spoke to enjoyed participating in the Amazing Race, and we achieved the main aim, which was to raise awareness about homelessness.”

On whether Moree could expect an Amazing Race next year, Ms Williams had this to say.

“If there is one, teams will have to face plenty more challenges.