It was one of the longest and coldest nights of the year on Thursday, and 77 of the Geelong region’s business and community leaders stepped outside the comforts of home to spend a night on the concourse at GMHBA Stadium.
With a thin layer of cardboard separating them from the concreate and only a few hours of sleep, our leaders got a brief glimpse of the challenges faced by over 21,000 people in the greater Geelong region experiencing homelessness.
This was the second annual CEO Sleepout held in Geelong, raising over $220, 000 for those who need it most in our region, far exceeding the goal of $200,000 and nearly doubling the amount raised last year. Over $7.8 million has been raised Australia-wide.
Money raised goes to support vital services for people experiencing homelessness and poverty, including crisis accommodation, food vouchers, soup vans, rent assistance, referral services and more.
This year’s theme was Leading With Compassion, encouraging honest dialogue and constructive conversations about the linkages between poverty and homelessness.
Leaders heard from a number of people who used Vinnies services, shedding an important light on the diverse reasons people experience poverty and the consequences homelessness can have on individuals and families.
More than 500 Vinnies Volunteers in the greater Geelong region spend time with people on the frontline, face to face, to rebuild lives.
Kardinia Park Stadium Trust CEO, Gerard Griffen said his experience heightened his awareness of the challenges of sleeping rough.
“Homelessness is a most important subject in our community and we are pleased to be making a small contribution and bring to light this subject. I am more aware of what people have gone through and what circumstances have led them down this path,” he said.
“Homelessness happens to a variety of people from a variety of backgrounds.”
You can donate to this year’s CEO Sleepout until 31st July 2019 here
You can also pre-register for the 2020 event here