Chris's story

"It’s both humbling and empowering to be part of St Vincent’s fight to end homelessness."

In 2020 I participated in my tenth Vinnies CEO Sleepout sleeping rough for one night to help others less fortunate. I am honoured to have been a Vinnies CEO Sleepout Ambassador since 2013. I feel it is important to raise awareness of homelessness and funds for Vinnies homeless services as I would like to see homelessness eradicated across Australia.

On the night itself we all listen to and have the chance to speak with people who have experienced homelessness and are provided with support from Vinnies homelessness services. These discussions made me realise the importance of attending the Vinnies CEO Sleepout annually; as the reality is that people end up in this situation of sleeping on the streets or in their cars and how relatively easy it is to “fall through the cracks”. Life changing events such as job loss, family illness, or a marriage breakdown can change a person’s life and they fall on hard times and suffer from poverty on a downward spiral. Vinnies continue to help homeless people with accommodation, food, transport, medical costs, and other services.

After the Vinnies CEO Sleepout, we can all go home to a hot shower, breakfast and our loving families – but knowing that many others around Australia don’t have the same opportunity makes you want to do more to help, and also makes you value what you do have.

I encourage as many of my peers as possible to get involved in the Vinnies NSW CEO Sleepout to gain greater insight into homelessness in Australia. It is a humbling experience and empowering to know that in some small way you are contributing to this incredibly important issue.

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