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Participants in the 2019 Vinnies WA CEO Sleepout

VINNIES CEO SLEEPOUT GOES ONLINE TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS DURING COVID-19

For the first time, business and community leaders across Australia will unite for a national online sleepout on 18 June to raise essential funds for Vinnies’ homelessness services.

The Vinnies CEO Sleepout will take place in cars, backyards and on couches across the country as participants join an interactive, live-streamed broadcast through their phones, tablets or computers. The online event will be hosted by television personality Dr Andrew Rochford.

“I’ve seen the difference that Vinnies’ homelessness services make first-hand, and the Vinnies CEO Sleepout is such an important fundraiser to make sure they can continue helping thousands of people every year,” Dr Rochford said.

“It’s great to see Vinnies, and the business and community leaders who participate in the sleepout, adapt to ensure this year’s event can go ahead in the midst of coronavirus. The onset of a global health crisis means people facing homelessness need that support more than ever,” Dr Rochford said.

In past years the Vinnies CEO Sleepout has comprised several events in major cities across Australia, but in 2020, all participants will join one online event. They are invited to nominate their own sleeping location, such as their car, couch, or outdoors in their backyard.

Each of these locations reflect the reality for many of the 116,000 people experiencing homelessness across the country. Of these, around one in 14 people are ‘sleeping rough’, but many more are hidden from sight behind closed doors and nonetheless unable to find a suitable and safe place to sleep.

This year, participants can also involve their partner and children, helping the whole family to learn more about the growing issue of homelessness, which affects upwards of 116,000 people in Australia.

Here in WA, the 2019 Vinnies CEO Sleepout raised over $900,000 which helped to ensure our unique specialist community services such as Passages Youth Engagement Hubs and Vinnies Tom Fisher House can continue to provide people with the support and resources they need to find a pathway out of homelessness.

Vinnies WA CEO Susan Rooney welcomed the adaptation of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout, now in its 11th year in Perth, to an online event.

“We are all meeting the challenge at the moment of having to adapt our lives to doing things differently including how we hold this vital fundraiser. What hasn’t changed is the commitment of all the leaders participating this year, to making a very real difference to the lives of our fellow Western Australians who are experiencing homelessness.”  Ms Rooney said.

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