Each night around Australia over 105,000 people are experiencing homelessness.
And alarmingly 44 percent are women – many accompanied by children.
Domestic and family violence continues to be the leading cause of female homelessness in Australia with numbers on the rise.
The eleventh annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout will be held later this month and Industry Update encourages senior executives to get involved.
For just one night, business and community leaders will give up the comfort and safety of their beds at home to get a glimpse of what it means to be homeless.
So far, nearly one quarter of the 1277 business leaders who have registered nationally will be heading to the Sydney event at Carriageworks on June 23.
Other events will also be held in major capital cities and regional areas.
Almost $1 million has been raised, of which $280,000 is from Sydney leaders.
Dianne Lucas, Acting CEO St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, said there is growing housing affordability crisis in Australia and that attitudes need to address the crisis facing Australia.
“This year, we are asking CEOs to “rethink, relate and respond to homelessness positively,” Ms Lucas said.
“With over 188 CEOs sleeping out for the first time this year, we are hoping to see the issue of homelessness rising on the corporate agenda.
“Without doubt, the Australian housing market produces large gains for a minority, while others are driven deeper into poverty, unable to break the cycle of disadvantage. Improving access to social and affordable housing is paramount if we are to enable people to move out of homelessness.
“We, along with other providers in the sector, have formed the Vote Home alliance. We have written widely to politicians seeking a coherent national strategy to deliver more affordable housing and end homelessness. We are encouraging our CEOs to come on board and support our initiative.”
Already signed up to participate in the Sydney event are major leaders including: Alistair Preston (AGL); Nick Baker (Red Balloon); Hon. Linda Burney; Dustin McClung (Sony Music); Peter Tonagh (Foxtel); Vittoria Shortt (Commonwealth Bank of Australia); Matt Codrington (Lenovo); Michelle Guthrie (ABC); Julie Ward (Zigzag.tv); Stephan Kopp (ALDI stores); Glenn Andrew (Dyson); Kylie Rogers (Mamamia); David Matthews (GWS Giants); Jason Sargent (Red Bull Australia); Michelle Hespe (The CEO magazine); Dianne Lucas (Vinnies); Karl Sice (Staples); Charlie Wood (Dropbox); Alison Watkins (Coca-Cola Amatil Limited); Justin Pascoe (Wests Tigers).
Across NSW the St Vincent de Paul Society has a number of different services and programs to assist people experiencing homelessness and help them break out of the cycle of homelessness once and for all.
The Society is one of the leading providers of homeless services in Australia. Across the state our members are working at the grass-roots level in 414 communities across the state. Vinnies Conference members provide a significant level of support for those people who are struggling financially who may be at risk of homelessness.
In the 2014-15 financial year St Vincent de Paul Society:
· Provided $21 million worth of financial assistance
· Assisted over 400,000 people
· Provided over 820,000 meals
· Provided close to 258,000 bed nights.
CEOs can still register for this year’s Vinnies CEO Sleepout. Head to the website to find out more about how to register, nominate your CEO for the challenge, or make a donation.
The 2016 Vinnies CEO Sleepout will take place on Thursday June 23 in Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle, Melbourne, Brisbane, Townsville, Gold Coast, Perth, Canberra, Launceston, Darwin and Alice Springs. Adelaide will host its CEO Sleepout on June 16.
For more information visit: www.ceosleepout.org.au