Knowledge to bring about change #CEOSO22

Monday 21 March 2022

Since 2006, the Vinnies CEO Sleepout has been raising funds and awareness in an effort to put an end to homelessness and hardship.

Having grown from humble origins into one of the largest fundraisers held annually, the Vinnies CEO Sleepout sees business and community leaders from across the country come together to brave the cold for a night, while raising valuable funds to support services and programs assisting people experiencing homelessness, domestic and family violence, financial hardship and much more.

Participants also have the opportunity to gain knowledge about the scope and realities of homelessness, as well as how they can go beyond the night in order to make a difference.

Learn more about one of the great issues of our time and register today at www.ceosleepout.org.au to restore hope to those who have fallen on hard times.

  • More than sleeping rough

Homelessness entails much more than just sleeping rough.

As defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a person is regarded as being homeless if their current living arrangement:

  • is an inadequate dwelling
  • has no tenure, or the initial tenure is short and cannot be extended
  • does not allow them control of, and access to space for social relations

While the latest census data shows more than 116,000 people experience homelessness on any given night in Australia, a relatively small proportion of that total (8,200) is made up of rough sleepers.

A far greater number experience less visible forms of homelessness, such as staying at supported crisis accommodation (21,200), relying on the goodwill on neighbours (17,700) or forced to languish in severely crowded dwellings (51,100).

Governments proved during the early months of the pandemic that serious action to address homelessness was more than possible. Sadly, measures such as housing rough sleepers in hotels were only temporary, resulting in our most vulnerable returning to the uncertainty of living without a secure place to live.

  • Numbers tell a story

116,000. 50,000. 0.004%.

These are some of the damning numbers that tell a frightening story about the state of homelessness in Australia today.

It can be hard to comprehend how so many people go without the safety, security and stability of a place to call home, but the state of the issue needs to be understood in order to bring about change.

On any given night in Australia more than 116,000 people experience homelessness, including 37,000 people in NSW, according to the latest census data.

Figures released by the NSW Department of Communities and Justice reveal approximately 50,000 applicants have been approved and waitlisted for social housing in NSW. Due to the shortage of available stock, some have been left to wait up to 10 years for a home.

Only three rental properties out of 74,266 listings – the equivalent of 0.004% – were affordable for a single person reliant upon the JobSeeker payment, based on findings from Anglicare’s latest rental affordability snapshot.

  • The Power of Lived Experience

Numbers can highlight the scope of an issue but hearing first-hand from people with lived experience makes a crisis like homelessness all the more immediate and impactful.

As part of sleeping out on the night of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout, participants have the opportunity to hear the stories of men and women who have been supported by Vinnies having gone without the essentials we all take for granted.

One of the men featured during last year’s event, Phil, bravely spoke on the night about life at his lowest.

"Life was very hard... It was cold, no warmth in life.”

Thanks to the support of Vinnies CEO Sleepout participants, Phil now has a home to call his own.

“I can’t describe that in words, the feeling, it’s all about feelings. The feeling I had inside when I was offered a bed, support by other human beings who wanted to stand next to me and wanted to help me without getting anything back… When I was offered [a home], it just turned everything around.”

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Register today as an individual or as part of a team at www.ceosleepout.org.au and help make our community more just and compassionate for all.