NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout Taking Place Virtually this Friday

23 August 2021

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW is urging communities across the state to support locals in need as part of the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout taking place this Friday.

The NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout will see participants in 11 locations throughout the state spend a night in their cars, couches and backyards, and join online to learn more about homelessness and hardship occurring in NSW.

All funds raised from the event will go towards local Vinnies services and conference work to assist people experiencing hardship with food, clothing, financial aid, educational programs and other vital support.

Jack de Groot, Vinnies NSW CEO, acknowledged the impact of the latest COVID-19 outbreak on people impacted and the event itself.

“We had hoped to be able to host the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout in-person this year, however with the current state-wide lockdown and growing number of cases in various parts of the state, a decision was made to transition to a virtual event in accordance with the advice provided by NSW Health and the NSW Government,” said Mr de Groot.

“It is an incredibly difficult time right now with many people facing severe financial and emotional strain due to job losses brought on by the lockdown.”

“Vinnies NSW has been supporting people in time of hardship for 140 years and will continue to do so into the future,” said Brooke Simmons, Vinnies NSW Vice President Social Justice.

“We have seen people turn to charities in order to get by during this period, which is why events like the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout are so important in enabling the Society to continue to supporting people in their times of need.”

In the last financial year, the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW supported close to 35,000 people with $7.4 million in financial and material assistance; 49% of people sought assistance due to a shortage of food, while 54% experienced stress due to the cost of housing.

More than 51,000 applicants are currently on the waiting list for social housing in NSW, including 5,300 listed as priority according to the latest figures released by the State Government.

NSW Vinnies Community Sleepouts will be held virtually in Albury, Armidale, Central Coast, Deniliquin, Dubbo, Maitland, Murrumbidgee, Southern Highlands, Tweed Heads, Wagga Wagga and Western Sydney on Friday 27 August.

 

Media contact: media.nsw@vinnies.org.au | 0417 446 430