Peter* knows what it's like to be homeless.

“The last few years have been really difficult, then COVID-19 started, and I lost my job. I got kicked out of the house I was living in, so I found myself sleeping in my car. It was really tough.”.

After not having much luck finding a safe place to stay for him and his loyal companion Spike*, he was feeling hopeless and isolated until he finally found shelter at Oaks Estate. From there, he reached out to Vinnies for assistance.

“Vinnies has been there for me all this time. They have helped me with food vouchers, petrol vouchers so I can go to my doctor’s appointments, and so much more. It has been a life saver,” Peter said. 

Ben and Victor from the Vinnies Community Inclusion Program have helped Peter to recover from this difficult time, create a plan for the future and have something to look forward to in life. As he gets ready to move into his new permanent home, he feels excited and hopeful about this new chapter.

“I will always be grateful for Vinnies,” he said. 

“There are many people like Peter that are a few unfortunate circumstances away from finding themselves homeless. Even though Peter’s future is looking much brighter now, there are many Australians who are still forced to call a couch, a tent or car a home. The anguish and despair of these people every night is real,” said Barnie van Wyk, CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn.

“We need to create a safety net for the vulnerable people in our community. When we assist people at early stages, we can help prevent them from falling through the gaps and becoming homeless,” he said.

Business and community leaders all over Australia will sleep out to raise money and show support for Australia’s homeless population at this year’s Vinnies CEO Sleepout on Thursday 17 June. This year, participants can choose to participate in the event in person or online and make a significant impact in the community.

The funds raised from the event help Vinnies support people at risk of or experiencing homelessness by providing food and material aid as well as helping fund programs that assist in breaking the cycle of poverty.

To sign up or donate visit www.ceosleepout.org.au  

*We use a different name to protect our companion’s privacy.