WHEN Mark Felder leaves work for the day he usually looks forward to having a decent feed and sleeping in a warm bed.
But last Thursday night Mr Felder left his Rowville-based business and trekked into the city to take part in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.
The chief executive of Mayfield Lamps joined more than 150 other chief executives who rolled out their sleeping bags to raise awareness and money for Victoria's homeless people.
Mr Felder said his experience was: "Really interesting, really cold and really hard".
"My bones and concrete [at Etihad Stadium] are not friends," he said.
The evening of the event was one of the coldest nights so far this year, with heavy rain and winds lashing the CEOs as they slept out under the stars.
They were only allowed to bring a sleeping bag and Vinnies provided the chief executives with a piece of cardboard to lie on.
"It was an eye-opening experience," the 34-year-old said. "The issue of homelessness fascinates me in a country like Australia. In a country that's so rich it astounds me there are so many people in temporary accommodation."
There were a number of speakers on the night but Mr Felder said the one that resonated most was a tale that began similar to his own life.
"There was one man who used to run a trucking business but after working too hard for too long he became unwell and was admitted to a mental institution. When he got out his business fell apart."
The speeches were eye-opening and and inspirational, he said.
The CEOs were fed soup from the Vinnies soup van, which Mr Felder said "was pretty plain and basic" but "we were fed just as any other homeless person is".
Security was on hand to keep the CEOs safe while they slept, for a short time, at the stadium.
"We were in a safe environment, so I just laid there thinking about being on the actual streets - how people can disturb you, abuse you, whatever they do. It's horrifying," he said.