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Sleepout in support of homelessness services

The Vinnies CEO Sleepout is a one-night event held on one of the longest and coldest nights of the year. The St Vincent de Paul Society launched the event in 2006 to raise awareness and funds to combat homelessness, with close to $100 million raised nationally over 18 years of the event.

Hundreds of CEOs, business owners as well as community and government leaders sleep outdoors to support the many Australians who are experiencing homelessness and people at risk of homelessness.

Participants throughout NSW aim to raise $2.9 million this year. Leading fundraisers include Robert Kelly from Steadfast Group Ltd, Grant Steward from Consep Pty Ltd, Joe Kelly from the Sydney Roosters and Stephen Moir from Moir Group.

Funds raised will help Vinnies provide much-needed support to people all around Australia, directly assisting people experiencing homelessness by: funding new projects; ensuring existing homeless services, like food vans and emergency support, continue; expanding the reach of existing programs to ensure every Australian can access accommodation, meals, and emergency assistance when they need it.

The Sydney Sleepout was held on June 20 at the White Bay Cruise Terminal in Rozelle.

Vinnies CEO Yolanda Saiz said participants in Sydney, who rugged up in beanies and blankets, braved freezing temperatures for the cause. “It got pretty cold out there, particularly on the waterfront. I think about 3am you could hear a few people starting to rustle, as it just starts to get really uncomfortable, really cold,” she said.

“It’s important to remember that all of us, including myself, will get to go home [after the Sleepout] to a warm bed. But for those 122,000 people who are homeless across this country, they will be tonight wondering where they’re going to sleep.”

Labor Councillor Linda Scott (City of Sydney), taking part in her 12th Sleepout, has raised more than $5,000 so far. Readers can donate (until July 31) by visiting Linda’s fundraising page.

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