Every year, hundreds of committed business and community leaders join us at our flagship fundraiser the Vinnies CEO Sleepout on one of the coldest nights of the year. Every participant has their own personal reason for wanting to help solve homelessness and poverty. Here, our CEO Sue Cattermole shares hers.
Last year, during our first-ever online event – in which CEOs were encouraged to sleep on couches, in their backyards or their cars – I spent the night in my car. It was confronting spending a very long night in a dark, cold car, but this was exactly what many women, mothers, escaping family violence contend with night after night.
We know women typically stay with friends or family, live in their car or in overcrowded accommodation or physically hide, ashamed of their plight. For many experiencing poverty and homelessness for the first time in their lives was never part of their plan as they selflessly raised children, cared for family and willingly gave up their future economically security.
This is why, during this year my sixth year, I want to raise money and awareness to help address the growing crisis of older women’s homelessness in Victoria. Increasing numbers of older women are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness, with a rise of over 30% in just five years. Experts acknowledge that due to the hidden nature of women’s homelessness these figures may be hugely understated.
The right to a safe place to live is a human right. We can, we must, do better.
We must also work together to affect real change. To read more about the event or register yourself – or your CEO – please visit our CEO Sleepout website.
If you are interested in hosting your own event at a time and place that suits you please click HERE.