Take action this Homelessness Week by signing up for NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout

1 August 2022

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW is calling on residents across the state to take action during Homelessness Week by signing up and fundraising as part of the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout taking place on Friday 19 August.

Participants will sleep out on the same night as communities from across the state with all funds raised remaining in the local area to support programs and services operated by the Society.

The call to get involved in the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout is one action residents can take during Homelessness Week (1 – 7 August) in order to raise awareness of strategies to address housing availability and affordability over the long-term.

“This year’s theme for Homelessness Week – ‘to end homelessness we need a plan’ – ties in with what we hope to achieve with the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout,” said Jack de Groot, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO.

“We want to give participants greater understanding of the challenges faced by people at risk of homelessness and hardship and encourage them to use that knowledge to take action.

“The cost of housing is a huge concern at the moment, particularly in regional areas, so we would like to see a long-term approach that is well informed in order to address the issue.

“The Society recently commissioned research conducted by the University of New South Wales Centre for Social Impact that revealed government investment to build 5,000 new social housing properties each year for the next decade would reduce the current waitlist by 75%.

“At present, close to 50,000 applicants – or the equivalent of 110,000 people – are waiting for a home in NSW.

“Investment in social housing is one way to the vastly improve the conditions for thousands of people doing it tough right now.”

“Events like the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout play a vital role in ensuring our members can continue assisting people during times of hardship,” said Paul Burton, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW State President.

“The sleepout is only one night but it has the capacity to bring about change over a much longer period.”

Funds raised from the event will remain in local communities to support services and programs operated by the Society providing assistance to people experiencing hardship and disadvantage.

NSW Vinnies Community Sleepouts will be held Albury, Armidale, Central Coast, Dubbo, Hunter, Orange, Southern Highlands, Tamworth, Tenterfield, Tweed Heads, Wagga Wagga and Western Sydney on Friday 19 August. The event in Deniliquin will take place a night earlier on Thursday 18 August.

People can register to take part and donate at www.vinnies.org.au/communitysleepout