10 years ago, a local business leader in Sydney by the name of Bernard Fehon came up with an idea for the most privileged Australians to help the most disadvantaged – our nation’s homeless.
The St Vincent de Paul (Vinnies) CEO Sleep Out was borne, now a country-wide fundraiser held in wintry June across 13 locations, where all bosses and their teams can sleep outside and experience first-hand the realities of homelessness, all the while raising crucial funds for individuals and families to help find them food, housing and secure brighter futures, increasing awareness of the gap between our most and least fortunate neighbours.
Did you know…?
- There are 22,000 homeless people every night in Victoria
- Almost half of those are under 25 years old
- Domestic and family violence, financial difficulties and the housing crisis are the leading causes
- The average housing cost is 8-9 times the average annual income
- Victoria has the lowest number of public housing in all of Australia
- Demand for social housing has risen by 38% in Melbourne alone
- 14% of Australians live below the poverty line – that’s almost 4 million people
Tonight, our team is cheering on CEOs Anup and Jasmine Batra who will swap their cosy beds and ducted heating for a night on the streets with cardboard cut-outs for shelter. We hope you’ll be able to back up our gesture, by donating to our fundraising campaign, lead by Anup who returns from last year’s event, joined by his wife and joint-CEO Jasmine. While it may be a challenge to brace the cold in the middle of June, it is a stark reminder that one night of discomfort for some is a reality for others every night. We need your help to reach our target of $25,000 – any donation, big or small, makes a difference!
All funds go towards Vinnies’ fight against homelessness, collectively raising $10 million each year. Last year those funds went to the fighting young mums fleeing abusive partners with children in tow, the working poor struggling to contribute to society with little life skills from under-resourced schools, and the families with no income when Dad lost his job because his health took a turn for the worse.
Vinnies don’t just work to provide these people with a bed for the night; they assist with rent advancements, transitional housing, and crisis relief and are the bridging of the gap from on the streets into pathways like disability and intervention services and life skill programs.
While the homeless in Australia mightn’t be visible to you, the problem isn’t going to go away without your help.