Western Sydney residents will join communities throughout the state in supporting locals doing it tough as part of the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepouts to be held on Friday 23 October.
Following on from the success of the first virtual Vinnies CEO Sleepout which raised over $5.7 million back in June, Western Sydney locals will have the chance to sleep out in cars, backyards and couches as part of a state-wide live-stream raising awareness and funds for homelessness occurring in regional areas.
Funds raised from the event will go towards supporting local Vinnies services which assist people experiencing disadvantage with food, financial aid and access to local services.
Vinnies NSW CEO Jack de Groot urged communities throughout New South Wales to unite in a show of solidarity with locals experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
“Between drought, bushfires and COVID-19 there are a lot of people unsure of when the tide will turn,” said Mr de Groot.
“We know around 40 per cent of people sleeping rough in NSW live outside major cities, while people with children are seeking specialist homelessness support at higher rates in regional and rural areas.
“With the funds raised from the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout we’ll be able to continue assisting people doing it tough at a time when they need it most.”
Launching the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepouts to coincide with Homelessness Week, Mr de Groot called on the NSW Government to invest in social housing as part of the post-COVID recovery.
“The NSW Government has a unique opportunity to boost the health of our state by providing homes for adults, elderly people, children and families currently living in insecure rentals, crowded and inappropriate accommodations, and even experiencing homelessness.”
Last year close to 300 people took part in NSW Vinnies Community Sleepouts in Deniliquin, Maitland, Tweed Heads, Wagga Wagga and Western Sydney, raising just under $160,000 to support Vinnies work in local communities offering food, clothing, temporary accommodation and support with bills to people experiencing hardship.
Currently more than 116,000 people in Australia go to bed each night without a safe and secure place to live. NSW accounts for over a third of the national total with well over 37,000 people experiencing homelessness.
NSW Vinnies Community Sleepouts will be held in Albury, Armidale, Central Coast, Maitland, Murrumbidgee, Tamworth, Tweed Heads, Wagga Wagga and Western Sydney on Friday 23 October.
People can register to take part and donate at https://fundraise.vinniesnsw.org.au/joinnow
With thanks to the St Vincent de Paul Society.