Tenth anniversary of Vinnies CEO Sleepout in Canberra tonight

Vinnies CEO Sleepout

From last year’s Vinnies CEO Sleepout L-R: Camilla Rowland, Barnie van Wyk, Archbishop Christopher Prowse, Ross Fox, Suzanne Greenwood, Patrick McArdle and Loretta Wholley.

The no-frills night aims to give participants a small experience of the realities of life for people experiencing homelessness. After spending the night at the Sleepout, participants are expected to return to work for a full day to better understand the challenge of sleeping on the streets.

CEOs will sleep on cardboard for one night, with only soup and a bread roll to sustain them. The evening is also an opportunity to learn how people find themselves experiencing homelessness and just how hard it is to break the cycle.

“This is only one night, and we know we can go home to a shower and warmth, but it is just a small taste of how tough it must be to sleep rough and then function the next day,” said Barnie van Wyk, CEO, St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn, who will be sleeping out for the third time this year.

“We are excited to host this year’s Sleepout at the airport. We are proud to serve Canberra and raise awareness about homelessness which is a growing issue in our community,” said Stephen Byron, Managing Director of Canberra Airport, who is participating in his first Sleepout and is currently top of the fundraising leaderboard. “While we will be cold for this one evening, there are too many Canberrans sleeping rough every night and we are raising this money for them.”

 “This year Vinnies is aiming to raise $700,000 to help deliver our services across the Canberra/Goulburn region to people at risk of, or currently experiencing, homelessness,” said Mr van Wyk.

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1596 people are experiencing homelessness in the ACT, 22% of these are under 24.

Almost 7% of Canberra’s population live below the poverty line (26,000), with 37,000 people living on less than $500 a week.

These are just some of the people supported by Vinnies.

 “We are grateful for the support of all our CEOs, and their sponsors, in enabling us to continue providing much needed support to the vulnerable members of our community,” said Mr van Wyk.

Source: Vinnies Media Release

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