Sleepout effort raises more than $8,000 for WA’s homeless

19 Jun 2015

photo 3Access Housing Chief Executive Officer Garry Ellender joined more than 110 other Perth business and community leaders for a night ‘sleeping rough’ at the WACA Ground last night for the 2015 Vinnies CEO Sleepout.

The thunder, lightning and rain did not detract from the event, as participants weathered the elements to get 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.

“We heard some very honest and moving accounts of the effects of homelessness that some of Perth’s homeless contend with on a daily and nightly basis. Hearing their personal stories certainly strengthened the collective resolve of the Sleepout group to continue to work hard to influence positive change in the homelessness space,” Mr Ellender said.

“I was also able to discuss a range of homelessness and affordable housing matters with other NFP executives, members of the media and the wider Perth business community. It was encouraging to see how important housing affordability and improving conditions for the homeless was to those in attendance.”

In a bid to encourage people to donate to the cause, Mr Ellender – a passionate West Coast Eagles fan – promised to wear a Fremantle Dockers ‘onesie’ during the Sleepout. His willingness to do this saw him beat his 2014 Sleepout total of $7,000 – this year raising $8,185.

The Vinnies CEO Sleepout celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2015, with Sleepout events held in capital cities and major regional centres across Australia last night. Funds raised from the Sleepouts 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.

There is still time to make a donation and help increase Mr Ellender’s overall total for the 2015 event.