As another winter rolls around, our directors Colin Wheeler and Alan Thompson find themselves preparing for the Vinnies CEO Sleepout on the Gold Coast. The annual event raises awareness and much-needed funds to support local homelessness prevention efforts. For one night, Gold Coast CEOs and business leaders sleep rough outside on a simple piece of cardboard laid on the chilly concrete floor of Cbus Super Stadium. Excitement is brewing as the fundraising leaderboard heats up, but as the weather cools down with below-average temperatures sweeping the coast, 2022 may just be a tougher year to be sleeping outside.
So, why do they do it? Because everyone deserves a safe place to call home.
What is the Vinnies CEO Sleepout?
An annual one-night event held in eight locations across Australia, the Vinnies CEO Sleepout has business leaders sleeping rough to support the prevention of homelessness around our country. Participants gather to learn about the effects of homelessness and are offered a cup of soup before spending the night outside on a piece of cardboard. This year, the event takes place at Cbus Super Stadium on June 23rd, one of the longest and coldest nights of the year, to give our local leaders a taste of what it can be like living without a safe place to call home.
Where does the money raised from Vinnies CEO Sleepout go?
Last year, Vinnies CEO Sleepout participants across Australia collectively raised $9.3m in an incredible effort from all supporters. Vinnies Australia uses the funds raised to provide food, accommodation, and essential services to people at risk or experiencing homelessness (Where your donations go, Vinnies). More specifically, the 2021 CEO Sleepout allowed Vinnies to provide:
- Bed nights for people experiencing homelessness
- Food items through support centres
- Ongoing individual support programs
- Emergency assist and home visits
On the Gold Coast, the funds raised over the last five years have gone into Cornerstone Homelessness Support Service Program, Rendu House, and The Hub. The Cornerstone Program has helped over 820 Gold Coasters who are homeless or at risk of homelessness by providing accommodation, rental assistance, legal services, and more. The Rendu House is a safe accommodation for mature-aged women and also provides wrap-around services. The Hub is a work-in-progress to be completed later this year. It is a place to assist Companions with a variety of needs focussing on early intervention to prevent homelessness.
With only 3 days to go and a chilly forecast, all we can say is ‘good luck’ to our directors! If you would like to support this cause, you can donate to Alan and Colin, and check out our LinkedIn and Facebook to keep up with the event, and give our posts some love to raise awareness. Thank you all.