Homelessness in Australia: CEO Sleepout charity event raises money to help homeless people

Each year the St Vincent de Paul Society holds a national event, the Vinnies CEO Sleepoutto raise awareness of the growing issue of homelessness. It challenges business and community leaders to sleep rough for one night and raise funds to combat the issue. 
Vinnies CEO Sleepout participants and supporters helping to combat homelessness by raising funds for Vinnies homelessness services.

Homelessness and the care of people who are homeless is a primary concern of the St Vincent de Paul Society. Did you know while you sleep soundly each night:

  • There are more than 116,000 people experiencing homelessness across Australia.*
  • Of these, 56 per cent are male and 44 per cent are female. Sixty per cent are under the age of 35, dispelling the myth that the 'average' person experiencing homelessness is the stereotypical older man.**
  • More than 17,000 Australian children under the age of 12 have no permanent home.**

*Figure cited are from the 2016 census **Figures are cited from the 2011 census


Housing stress and homelessness

Housing costs are a major driver of poverty and disadvantage in Australia. With property prices and rental costs rising over the last 10 years at twice the rate of inflation, housing is the biggest expense for Australian households.

A decline in social housing stock and a shortage of properties for rent in the private market for households with very low to moderate incomes is contributing to people being at risk of homelessness.

Unregulated rooming houses, motels and caravan parks are not a solution – such options are often unsafe and or unstable.

Health and homelessness

At Vinnies we understand that:

  • Domestic and family violence is the number one reason why women and children seek support from us and other specialist homeless services.
  • Experiencing homelessness can trigger and exacerbate mental illness - people who are homeless are more likely to suffer from severe mental health issues than the rest of the population.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are 13 times more likely to be homeless than non-Indigenous Australians.
  • Of the 10,900 young people aged 12 to 18 who are experiencing homelessness, most have experienced family conflict, breakdown or violence.

The issues are complex and multi-dimensional, and sadly the incidence of homelessness is increasing.

The crisis is growing

Around 280,000 people sought help from homelessness agencies over the 2015-16 financial year, a number that has increased by nine per cent in just twelve months. The record demand on the homelessness sector means many people are turned away due to a lack of resources.

The Vinnies CEO Sleepout is your opportunity to make a difference.

Since its inception in western Sydney in 2005, the CEO Sleepout has raised more than $30 million to assist Vinnies homeless services around Australia. 

You can support the event or a participating CEO by making a donation or register to participate in the event.

For more information go to the Vinnies CEO Sleepout and join us in rising to the challenge!