The Vinnies CEO Sleepout
is a one-night event over one of the longest and coldest nights of the year (Thursday 18 June). Hundreds of CEOs, business owners as well as community and government leaders sleep outdoors to raise funds and support the many Australians who are experiencing homelessness and people at risk of homelessness.
By the numbers:
- 27% of homeless people in Australia are under 18 years of age
- 1 in 200 people are homeless on any given night in Australia
- Almost half of all homeless people are women
- Over 17,000 kids under the age have no home
- 14% of Australians live below the poverty line
- 30% of people experiencing homelessness are living in severely crowded homes
Last year, the Vinnies CEO Sleepout raised $7.9 million for people experiencing homelessness and people at risk of homelessness. Now in its 15th year, the restrictions caused by COVID-19 have meant the event has had to move to a more interactive, online format. Participants have been asked to nominate an alternate sleeping option (their couch, backyard or car) and will share the experience through an interactive live stream program, logging in with others all around the country.
Participating in his first Vinnies CEO Sleepout, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli is sleeping out in his car to help raise awareness and funds for the important cause. "It's a little bit of discomfort for a good bit of awareness," he said.
Donations to the Vinnies CEO Sleepout directly assists people experiencing homelessness and people at risk of homelessness, by:
- funding new initiatives
- ensuring existing homeless services, like food vans and emergency support, continue
- expanding the reach of existing Vinnies programs to ensure every Australian can access accommodation, meals, and emergency assistance when they need it.
Ellen Holmes has already contributed to the Archbishop's fundraising effort and says, "I love the Vinnies CEO sleepout for raising awareness and money to fight homelessness. It’s awesome that the Archbishop of Melbourne is sleeping out - hope it’s not too late to spread the word - I’m sure you could raise lots of money and really make people think Peter! Thanks and blessings!"