Despite COVID causing this year’s Vinnies’ Community Sleepout to look a little different, more than 200 people across NSW headed outside to sleep rough on Friday night.
As a result, $135,000 and counting was raised to address homelessness occurring in local communities.
Participants slept out in their cars, on their couches, or in their backyards as part of the virtual event.
Vinnies NSW Chief Executive Jack de Groot was thrilled by the support shown, which would allow local Vinnies services and programs to assist people experiencing homelessness and hardship through accommodation, food, financial aid and other relief.
“We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support shown by everyone who took part and those who donated throughout the state,” Mr de Groot said.
“This past year has been extremely difficult, there are a lot of people doing it tough and many reaching out for help for the very first time.
“The funds raised will allow us to make a difference to people who have fallen on hard times.”
Figures from the most recent 2016 Census revealed that on any given night, in excess of 116,000 people nationwide have no permanent home.
In NSW, the number of people experiencing homelessness increased by 37% from 2011-2016 to a total of 37,715.
The NSW Vinnies’ Community Sleepout follows on from the record success of Vinnies’ CEO Sleepout, which raised more than $5.8 million nationally in June.
Donations for Vinnies’ Community Sleepouts remain open until the end of November. To donate, click here.