Ballarat's Kate Gertners is packing her beanie and blankets to sleep at the MCG on Thursday night as part of a united community effort to raise funds and awareness for youth homelessness.
It is the seventh year Ms Gertners is participating in Melbourne City Mission's Sleep At The 'G event to help break the cycle of youth homelessness.
The cold night on the hard MCG ground includes talks and presentations on homelessness, live music and entertainment and handball competitions with AFL players.
I experience only a glimpse of what it must be like for people on the street but even then it is hard to function well the next day.Kate Gertners
The 1800 people expected to participate in the event will walk away on Friday morning with an appreciation of what 6000 young homeless Victorians experience every night.
"It is cold and unsettling," Ms Gertners says.
"I remember the first year the organisers played sounds of trams, traffic noise and street noise over the speaker. It really made you feel uncomfortable, even though you were in a relatively comfortable space.
"The sleep is unbroken, there is light, there is noise, it is a hard surface, it is cold and the next day you don't feel like you've slept well.
"I experience only a glimpse of what it must be like for people on the street but even then it is hard to function well the next day. I am fortunate enough I can go home, have a shower and then get ready for that day."
The 2019 Sleep At The 'G event is aiming to raise $1.2 million for Melbourne City Mission to establish crisis accommodation in Melbourne.
"There are currently only 109 crisis beds in Victoria, which is pretty alarming. I wouldn't have known those statistics had I not participated," Ms Gertners said.
"I now have an understanding that anybody can experience a hard time regardless of who you are or where you come from. Everyone has their own story."
More than 6000 young people experiencing homelessness in Victoria are often forced into unsafe housing, sleeping on someone's couch - or in some cases, out on the street.
When a young person finds themselves with no secure place of their own, they can be vulnerable to abuse and violence, according to Melbourne City Mission, and over half will miss out on regular school.
Funds raised from last year's Sleep At The 'G went towards building Melbourne City Mission's first fully integrated, 24/7 youth crisis accommodation centre on King Street.
Funds raised during the 2019 Sleep At The 'G will cover capital expenditure for redeveloping, upgrading and furnishing facilities at other existing youth crisis centres across Melbourne.
Visit sleepattheg.com.au for more information.