St Vincent de Paul Society launches the 2022 Vinnies’ Community Sleepout.

The St Vincent de Paul Society has launched its annual Sleepout event under a new name. Vinnies’ Community Sleepout is the new, more inclusive name the Society has giving to the CEO Sleepout in Tasmania, which Vinnies has run across the State since 2011.

Speaking about the updated event and name, St Vincent de Paul Society (Tas) State President, Mr Mark Gaetani, said that since its inception in western Sydney in 2005, the annual Sleepout event has raised more than $30 million to assist the homeless and those at risk of homelessness across Australia, including over $100,000 in Tasmania in 2021.

“Vinnies annual Sleepout event has become a valued and worthwhile event that makes a real difference to the lives of homeless families and individuals; but we have found that the name – CEO Sleepout – has been a barrier to participation. Our hope is that renaming the successful event – Vinnies’ Community Sleepout – more people will feel included and want to participate,” Mr Gaetani said.

“The Society is encouraging individuals, families, schools, community leaders, and of course the hundreds of CEOs who have supported the Sleepout in the past, to get behind Vinnies 2022 Community Sleepout. Everyone is welcome to support the event to build awareness of the plight of the homeless and those at risk of homelessness and raise money to assist them.

“On the night of Friday June 24, we will be asking participants in the Vinnies’ 2022 Community Sleepout to sleep ‘rough’ in all sorts of places – in their back yards, in cars, in their garages, in tents, in school halls or gymnasiums with a few school friends, couch-surfing on a sofa, or sleeping on the floor at the home of a trusted friend or family member. The possibilities are endless, but the challenge remains the same – to spend one night away from the comfort and warmth of their beds to raise awareness and vitally needed funds to combat the issue of homelessness in Tasmania.

“The issue of Homelessness and caring for people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness is one of the St Vincent de Paul Society’s primary concerns. Over 116,000 people experiencing homelessness across Australia. Of these, 56 per cent are male and 44 per cent are female. Sixty per cent are under the age of 35, dispelling the myth that the ‘average’ person experiencing homelessness is the stereotypical older man.

“It is of even greater concern to the Society that more than 17,000 Australian children under the age of 12 have no permanent home, which is why Vinnies is inviting and encouraging schools, colleges, and universities to participate in Vinnies’ 2022 Community Sleepout, on Friday June 24, 2022. Children are renowned for taking important messages home to share with their families. If they can be encouraged to spread the word about homelessness, perhaps it will be less of a national issue when they grow up,” Mr Gaetani said.

The Vinnies’ 2022 Community Sleepout represents an opportunity to make a real difference to the life of someone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness. To register to participate in Vinnies’ 2022 Community Sleepout on Friday June 24, please visit: www.vinniestas.org.au/community-sleepout

MEDIA NOTES: The St Vincent de Paul Society was founded in Paris, France in 1833 by a 20-year old Italian student, Frederic Ozanam. Today, the Society operates in 153 countries and has over 800,000 members. Australia has over 60,000 members, dedicated to assisting people in need and combating social injustice. The Society started in Tasmania in 1899 when founders established a Conference in Launceston. From humble beginnings, the Society has grown to 25 Conferences within three Regional Councils across Tasmania. Each Conference undertake a variety of good works, the most recognised being the traditional Vincentian home visits and the annual CEO Sleep-out to draw attention to homelessness.

Media contact, Mark Wells: +61 414 015 966 (24-hours)
© St Vincent de Paul Society and MWPA.

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