The board of Baseball Canberra, led by General Manager Josh Matavesi, will brave the cold and sleep out on the field to raise funds for Vinnies homelessness services at this year’s Vinnies CEO Sleepout on 18 June.

Mr Matavesi comes to the position after a background in social work and is passionate about addressing disadvantage in the community.

‘Seeing the difference that $50 can make to someone is eye-opening,’ he said.

‘It is never too late. Some of our players over the years have come from under-privileged backgrounds, and we know that someone’s background doesn’t determine their future.

‘Vinnies works tirelessly to help break the cycle of poverty and offer pathways out of poverty to people in need all over the country, and that’s why we’re participating in the CEO Sleepout this year.

‘There is no better way for us to support this cause,’ he said.

This year’s CEO Sleepout will look very different from previous years’ events with participants logging in to a national live stream from their own secure location. Participants will choose from three options that reflect the reality for people experiencing homelessness in Australia – outside, in their car or on the couch.

‘This year, we want to highlight that many people experiencing homelessness are actually sleeping indoors, but nonetheless in unstable, unsuitable and often dangerous conditions. For many people, homelessness is sleeping in a car, and an estimated 15% of Australia’s 116,000 people experiencing homelessness are ‘couch-surfing’ in the homes of family, friends, and acquaintances,’ said Barnie van Wyk, CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn.

‘While one night will never compare to the reality of experiencing homelessness, this event is a gesture of empathy from leaders, a step towards a more informed understanding of homelessness, and a meaningful action to raise funds for much-needed and cash-strapped services,’ he said.

Vinnies CEO Sleepout is a national event occurring 18 June 2020 raising funds for Vinnies services and highlighting issue of homelessness.

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2nd June 2020