RRT volunteers joined forces with St Vincent de Paul Society to support CEO Sleepout events in Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Launceston, and Brisbane to serve a combined 1,535 number of meals and coffees.
The Vinnies CEO Sleepout is a unique way for business leaders to actively combat the issue of homelessness by rising to the challenge and experiencing a small portion of what it is like to sleep rough for a night. Since its inception 15 years ago, the Vinnies CEO Sleepout has raised over $52 million to fund Vinnies homeless services across Australia.
The night is an experiential, no frills affair. CEOs are given nothing more than a beanie, a sheet of cardboard and a cup of soup. They are responsible for finding a place to bed down for the night in an environment that exposes them to the elements.
On any given night there are approximately 116,000 Australians who are experiencing homelessness. The ABS released the 2016 Census data on homelessness back in March of this year and in NSW alone there was an increase of 37% for those experiencing homelessness. Young people aged 19-24 increased by 92% and the rate of older people experiencing homelessness has increased by 24%.
Serving before dawn at the CEO Sleepout Event in Sydney, RRT National Operations Manager Dan Alderton said these events are a way to gain support for people sleeping rough and spread awareness in Australia.
“Although homelessness is a difficult and complex issue, it is unacceptable that in a prosperous country like Australia the numbers are growing. The face of homelessness in Australia has changed so these events aim to raise funds and awareness of homelessness, putting the issue on the map”. Dan said.
As temperatures drop substantially across Australia, thousands of people continue to sleep rough with the majority of people experiencing homelessness in the prime of their life. RRT is humbled to help bridge the gap for people in need through this worthy cause.