Sleepout inspires hope for reducing homelessness
“Homelessness hasn’t got a postcode – it doesn’t discriminate by address. What the CEOs learnt last night was that homelessness can happen to anyone, regardless of their age, gender, education level,” says Mr de Groot, CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society NSW.
“Personal circumstances can shift like quicksand. It only takes redundancy, illness or a traumatic incident to turn your life around and take away everything you once took for granted, including a home.
“However, there are also many predictable factors that can conspire together to put individuals and families at risk – family violence, chronic illness, unemployment and poor education. We know there are pathways to assist people so that they maintain a home but these services and supports all cost money.
“The Vinnies CEO Sleepout is an opportunity for us to share stories and statistics with business and community leaders so that they can be part of the solution to fund services and reduce homelessness.” As one of the speakers at the Sydney event, who has experienced homelessness, said: “The work that Vinnies does all around the country is truly remarkable.”
He valued the fundraising and knowledge sharing of the event because it facilitated a positive change. “And what an opportunity for all of us to never walk past another homeless person, drug addict, or any broken human being for that matter, and assume there is no hope. Because thanks to organisations like Vinnies, there is always hope.”
Donations can still be made until 31 July.