2017 CEO Sleepout

Each year, the St Vincent de Paul Society holds a national event, Vinnies CEO Sleepoutto raise awareness of the growing issue of homelessness. It challenges business and community leaders to sleep rough for one night, experiencing firsthand what thousands of Australians experience every night.

Homelessness and the care of people who are homeless is a primary concern to the St Vincent de Paul Society. Did you know:

  • There are 105,237 people experiencing homelessness every night across Australia; this represents an 8 per cent increase since the 2006 Census.
  • Of these, 56 per cent are male and 44 per cent are female. 60 per cent are under the age of 35, dispelling the myth that the ‘average’ person experiencing homelessness is the stereotypical older man. 

Housing stress and homelessness

Housing costs are arguably the single biggest driver of poverty and disadvantage in Australia. With housing costs rising over the last 10 years at twice the rate of inflation, housing is the largest area of expenditure for Australian households. It is estimated 875,000 households in Australia are experiencing housing stress. Around 2.5 million (13.9 per cent) of all people live below the internationally accepted poverty line - $400 per week for a single person, $841 for a family of four.

Women are the most vulnerable

Domestic and family violence is the number one reason why women and children seek support from Vinnies and other specialist homeless services: 36 per cent have been affected by domestic and family violence.

Women and girls make up about 59 of all clients who access homelessness services. They can be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, live in rural and remote locations, be older, experience mental illness, disability or isolation.

The crisis is growing

The demand on the homelessness sector in the last five years has increased at double Australia's population growth.

255,657 people received support in 2014-15. Almost seven million nights of accommodation were provided by specialist homelessness services and about 25 per cent were children and women fleeing domestic and family violence.

But still many people are turned away due to a lack of resources.

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

The 2016 Sleepout raised close to $6 million nationally, with 1475 CEOs taking part. It was held in major metropolitan and regional cities on 23 June (Adelaide event was on 16 June).

Since its inception in western Sydney 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.

Across Australia, the Society is focusing on the following critical issues which the people we assist are facing:

  • Housing stress:
    Housing costs put many families under a great deal of pressure and can contribute to family breakdown. Families often cut down on their food and heating, affecting their physical and mental health, employment prospects and the educational development of children.
  • Homelessness and staying homeless for longer:
    The lack of affordable housing causes some families to become homeless and can affect homeless families escaping domestic violence by prolonging their homelessness.
  • Domestic and family violence:
    Women who are experiencing domestic and family violence may stay in a dangerous environment with their children for longer due to a lack of affordable and safe accommodation.
  • Living in inappropriate housing:
    With fewer affordable alternatives, low-income families often end up living in housing of ‘last resort’ which does not meet peoples’ accessibility needs, has poor physical security and is located long distances from services, schools and jobs.

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