Five University of Regina students will spend five days and nights outside experiencing homelessness.

It's a part of the charity event 5 Days for the Homeless that kicked off yesterday with a puck drop at the Regina Pats home game.

"They just show up at the school with the clothes on their backs, and they get a sleeping bag and a pillow and they are outside basically the entire week," said Breanne Dmytriw, the co-chair of the charity event.

After the hockey game, Maple Baxter, Madison Biem, Julie Ready, Riley Moncrief and Kashtin Schumacher spent their first night sleeping outside the university to raise money and awareness for homelessness in the city.

Fortunately, the weather has been unseasonably mild in recent days.

"We were lucky the weather is pretty nice. It wasn't too cold," said Riley Moncrief, a fourth-year business student.

"So we managed to stay comfortable for the most part but it's definitely a new experience. Didn't get a lot of hours of sleep, but I think that will change as the week goes on." 

During the event, the students do not shower, sleep out in the open and are only allowed to consume foods that are donated to them. 

This year, the goal is to raise $35,000 in a week for Carmichael Outreach — a community-based organization that helps homeless people.

Last year the event raised $32,000 for the charity. 

5 Days for the Homeless intends to remove the stigma associated with homelessness and create a platform where it can be addressed. 

"I definitely didn't understand the scope of the seriousness of the issue before I got involved," Moncrief said. 

"We actually got the opportunity to go to Carmichael Outreach as a team and seeing what the staff does there, I mean it's simply amazing what they do for those less fortunate." 

A total of 19 universities across the country take part in the event, hosting similar fundraisers on their campuses.