NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout to Highlight Hardship and Homelessness throughout the State

29 June 2021

Locals across 12 communities will unite throughout the state as part of the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout on Friday 27 August.

Following on from the record success of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout which raised over $8.9 million nationally in June, NSW residents will brave the cold for a night to raise awareness and funds in support of hardship and homelessness occurring in regional areas.

Funds raised from the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout will go back to local communities to allow Vinnies services and members to provide financial and material aid to people in need.

Vinnies NSW is closely following the evolving COVID-19 situation and adhering to the public health orders and advice provided by NSW Health and the NSW Government; this may result in changes from what is currently planned for the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout.

Vinnies NSW CEO Jack de Groot urged communities across the state to sleep out in solidarity at a time when many are still struggling to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

“While life has begun to return to normal after the disruption of last year, there are still many households and individuals doing it particularly tough around the state,” said Mr de Groot.

“Families in regional areas are being priced out of their communities due to rising housing prices, there’s simply not enough social housing to meet the demand and calls for assistance have increased each time social support payments have been cut.

“The NSW Street Count conducted earlier this year showed more than 1,100 people are sleeping rough throughout the state; around 40 per cent of people sleeping rough in NSW live outside major cities, while people with children are seeking specialist homelessness support at higher rates in regional and rural areas.

“Every dollar donated to the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout will go back to the local community to assist people in their time of need.”

Last year over 200 people took part in the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout virtually, raising close to $157,000 to support Vinnies’ work in local communities across the state offering food, clothing, temporary accommodation and support with bills to people experiencing hardship.

Currently more than 116,000 people in Australia go to bed each night without a safe and secure place to live. NSW accounts for over a third of the national total with well over 37,000 people experiencing homelessness.

The current waitlist for social housing in NSW is over 51,000 applicants – or the equivalent of 110,000 people – many of whom have been waiting for up to 10 years for a home.

NSW Vinnies Community Sleepouts will be held Albury, Armidale, Central Coast, Deniliquin, Dubbo, Maitland, Murrumbidgee, Southern Highlands, Tamworth, Tweed Heads - Fred’s Place, Wagga Wagga and Western Sydney on Friday 27 August.

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