Access Housing Chief Executive Officer Garry Ellender joined more than 100 other Perth business and community leaders for a night ‘sleeping rough’ at the WACA Ground last night for the 2016 Vinnies CEO Sleepout.
A cool, clear evening greeted the participants, who spent the night sleeping outside on cardboard mattresses and braving the elements to get something of a first-hand experience and understanding of some of the hardships homeless Australians deal with every day, in a bid to raise funds for the St Vincent de Paul Society.
This year saw Garry raise $5,250, which took his total funds raised for the St Vincent de Paul Society from the past four CEO Sleepouts past $26,000.
Funds raised from the Sleepouts, which are held annually in capital cities and major regional centres across Australia, have the potential to not only provide crucial assistance to people experiencing homelessness but to make inroads to addressing the very causes of homelessness – with the aim of breaking the cycle of homelessness permanently for as many people as possible.
According to the CEO Sleepout website, more than 106,000 people are experiencing homelessness in Australia on a daily basis and 44% of these are women, many accompanied by young children. In addition around 60% are under the age of 35 and in the prime of their life.
More than 17,000 Australian children under the age of 12 have no home, representing 17% of the overall homeless population.
On any given night in WA there are around 10,000 homeless West Australians forced to sleep on the streets.
There is still time to make a donation and help increase Garry’s overall total for the 2016 event – please click here to be directed to Garry’s fundraising page.