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The excitement was high among over 100 people that attended the 2019 Vinnies Drive-In, Sleep-In at the Galaxy Drive-In on Friday 18 October.

Only the second year this event has been run in WA, the Vinnies Drive-In, Sleep-In brings awareness to people who are experiencing or at-risk of homelessness and what they face without secure housing. Families, friends, community and business organisations experienced the hardship of having to sleep in their car for one night to bring attention to an often under-represented issue that many people do not often associate with homelessness and social disadvantage.

Every night more than 9000 Western Australians experience homelessness; of these people 3656 are young or children, and specifically 1493 are children under 12 years of age. People who experience any type of homelessness can face judgement and social disadvantage which impacts a person’s ability to find the support and resources they need. This can mean barriers to medical care, employment and education, making it difficult for people to break out of the cycle of homelessness that they may find themselves in.

While teams enjoyed the movies, fun activities and food trucks, after an informative presentation they learnt about the struggles many Western Australians doing it tough face without stable housing. On the following morning participants said they experienced a lot of discomfort but gained a greater sense of empathy and understanding for people who have no other option than to sleep in their car. Many learnt that without secure housing even getting ready for a job interview is difficult as you often have no shower facilities and a clean set of clothes to wear. This is just one of the many daily hardships people face to try and break out of the cycle of homelessness.

We are pleased to announce the Vinnies Drive-In, Sleep-In raised almost $30,000 with donations open until the end of October. The funds raised ensure we can continue to deliver our specialist services to over 50,000 Western Australians in need through access to food, clothing, emotional support and accommodation assistance. These services are vital to ensuring that people without a home or at-risk of homelessness have a very real opportunity to rebuild their lives.