Vinnies CEO Sleepout: The Harsh Reality of Life on the Streets
Sydney, Australia: It’s understandable that people are fed up with staying at home during lockdowns, but one company is asking to spare a thought for thousands of Australians who don’t even have the option of retreating to a safe place they can call their own.
Job losses from the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of housing affordability have contributed to a rise of homelessness in Australia.
There are 116,000 homeless people across the country, including 17,000 children – according to global charity group St Vincent de Paul Society (Vinnies).
A small part of their daily reality was experienced first-hand by Catherine Kuipers, the CEO of removalist company Two Men and a Truck. She recently participated in the annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout, which took place in Sydney on the 17th of June 2021.
On this night, Catherine and other CEOs slept outdoors in their sleeping bags. Even though it was tough in the cold, their experiences pale in comparison to the hardships that people go through every day on the streets.
“We all have a home to go back to, but what about our fellow humans who don’t have anywhere to go other than the streets?” Ms Kuipers said. “Scorching heat or freezing cold, they only have a hard sheet of cardboard to lie on. When we have air conditioning to cool the room, they don’t even have an umbrella to cover themselves from the pouring rain.”
Business and community leaders raised awareness and much-needed funds to help people get back on their feet, by sleeping rough for one night. Participants raised $9.3 million dollars, which Vinnies is using to provide nourishing meals, beds, counselling and support programs to people in crisis.
Even if people only have a few dollars to spare, every small amount makes a difference when enough people dig into their wallets.
For more information about Two Men And A Truck, contact the company here:
Two Men And A Truck
15/6 Herbert St, St Leonards NSW 2065