Johnson and seven colleagues are seeking sponsorship for sleeping rough in Auckland’s CBD as part of this year’s Lifewise Big Sleepout.
So far the group, team Need To Know, has raised more than $20,000.
Australian Johnson, who did the event once before in 2011, said it was a very humbling experience and one which she feels is a way of giving back to the country that’s adopted her.
“Having done the Big Sleepout before I gained so much insight into the issues that contribute to people becoming homeless and the amazing services of Lifewise.
“I will never forget being humbled by hearing of so many people’s life journeys that result in either becoming homeless or helping the homeless.”
Joining her tomorrow night are her husband Michael, CFO Dan Coman, the executive general manager (EGM), Direct Insurance, Craig Olsen, Karl Armstrong, EGM of NZI, Dean MacGregor, EGM Canterbury Recovery, Judith West, acting EGM – people and culture, Allan Dornan, COO, and Nick Jones, Insights manager.
There are more than 100 influential New Zealanders taking part this year, ranging from corporate teams such as 2Degrees and Vodafones to skateboarder Levi Hawken, of ‘Nek Minnit’ fame.
Johnson says: “For one cold night in the dead of winter we will be stripped of our creature comforts, exposed to the elements and given insight into what it means to sleep rough.
“For us, being made homeless, albeit temporarily, is a choice. For the thousands of Kiwis, of all ages, who have been made homeless as a result of crippling life circumstances, being homeless is not a choice. It is a devastating reality that demands a compassionate response.
“It’s time that we took a stand because, despite all its complications, with the right approach, homelessness can be solved.”
To help sponsor an individual or a team, visit http://bigsleepout.org.nz/
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