Sleepout inspires hope for reducing homelessness

Last night 1479 CEOs and community leaders slept out in the major cities of Australia[1]. Together they have so far raised over $5 million.

Vinnies CEO Sleepouts were held in Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle to raise money for vital homelessness and support services across NSW because, says Jack de Groot, CEO St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, homelessness knows no postcode.

“Homelessness hasn’t got a postcode – it doesn’t discriminate by address. What the CEOs learnt last night was that homelessness can happen to anyone, regardless of their age, gender, education level,” says Mr de Groot.

“Personal circumstances can shift like quicksand. It only takes redundancy, illness or a traumatic incident to turn your life around and take away everything you once took for granted, including a home.

“However, there are also many predictable factors that can conspire together to put individuals and families at risk – family violence, chronic illness, unemployment and poor education. We know there are pathways to assist people so that they maintain a home but these services and supports all cost money.

“The Vinnies CEO Sleepout is an opportunity for us to share stories and statistics with business and community leaders so that they can be part of the solution to fund services and reduce homelessness.”

As one of the speakers at the Sydney event, who has experienced homelessness, said: “The work that Vinnies does all around the country is truly remarkable.”

He valued the fundraising and knowledge sharing of the event because it facilitated a positive change.

“And what an opportunity for all of us to never walk past another homeless person, drug addict, or any broken human being for that matter, and assume there is no hope. Because thanks to organisations like Vinnies, there is always hope.”

Donations can still be made until 31 July.

Tallies at the end of 22 June:

Sydney: 357 participants; $1,595,134

Newcastle: 57 participants; $107,058

Wollongong: 36 participants; $100,440.

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Media contact:  Phyllis Sakinofsky | | 0417 446 430


[1] Adelaide’s Sleepout will be held on Thursday 29 June.