The Vinnies CEO Sleepout 2018 event was launched nationally last week, with organisers hopeful of raising $6.4 million.
Founder Bernie Fehon said it was one of the biggest fundraising events in Australia.
In Brisbane this year’s event is expected to attract more than 220 leaders to sleep on the cold hard concrete base of Brisbane Powerhouse on the longest night of the year, the winter solstices, June 21.
The annual event is a show of recognition that each night, almost 6000 people in Brisbane and almost 22,000 Queenslanders have no place to call home.
St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland chief executive officer Peter Maher said: “It’s appalling that as we are getting wealthier as a nation, we can’t provide people with food and shelter in the 21st century”.
“As Australians we should be pretty embarrassed and asking what is the government doing about it?”
This year, the Vinnies CEO Sleepout Brisbane aims to raise $1 million, with funds to make a direct and real difference in the lives of those who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness.
“We’re putting vital funds raised by this event into housing solutions and are calling on government, corporate and community members to get behind us and help turn around these statistics,” he said.
Why are so many people homeless?
Complicated situations have been blamed as the ultimate reasons behind these homelessness statistics.
Some of these complex issues are:
Rental housing is more expensive. The number of homeless people in Australia is increasing because it is challenging to find budget-friendly housing.
Violence at home. People leave their homes to escape from the violence they experience within their households.Ironically, they feel safer if they are away from home.
Poverty that runs across generations. Australians who come from homeless families almost always end up being homeless.
Unemployment. Due to the economic issues, many people have to deal with long-term unemployment.As a result, they struggle making ends meet and end up becoming homeless.
Mental disability. People having mental problems and those who suffer from psychological distress are most likely to stray away from their homes or even from mental institutions where they have been admitted and end up being homeless.
Exiting from jail. Those who exit prisons find a hard time getting back to the real world due to few job opportunities.As a result, they suffer economically and many eventually end adding up to the homeless population.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
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