The Vinnies CEO Sleepout began as a local community venture in Sydney’s Parramatta in 2006. Since then, the event has raised important funds for Vinnies Homeless Services across NSW.
In 2010 the charity event was launched nationally and exceeded expectations, attracting almost 700 CEO’s in 7 cities nationally and raising $2.9 million to directly assist people experiencing homelessness.
Vinnies place an emphasis on breaking personal cycles of poverty by helping people to learn to make better decisions through a range of education programs, recreation activities, and extensive information and referral services in a safe and supportive environment.
At the last Census, 104,700 Australians were counted as homeless (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006) with 50,256 Australian’s on the street, every night. The growing incidence of homelessness has not been accompanied by an increase in services to meet demand. While Vinnies operates a wide range of homeless services across the country, many areas remain without specialist homeless and housing services to support the needs of people experiencing disadvantage.
The aim of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout is not only to raise funds, but raise awareness of homelessness. Our goal is not just to service the homeless, but to bring about an end to homelessness. The discomfort of sleeping on the streets is a fragment of the larger reality we hope to impart upon influential leaders of the community. With their help, and yours, we can fight the issue of homelessness together.