THERE are currently more than 105,000 homeless people in Australia.
Census figures from 2006 indicate that each night 54% of homeless people seeking supported accommodation are turned away, which means around 56,000 people are sleeping on the street each night in Australia.
The problem is that in the wake of the financial crisis the number of homeless people has risen much faster than the supply of homeless and housing services required to support the needs of people experiencing disadvantage.
The St Vincent de Paul Society indicates that the new face of homelessness is families: young families; two-parent families; families with no history of domestic violence. The sub-prime crisis didn’t only hurt corporate Balance Sheets and Profit & Loss statements, it also hurt families in local communities. Homelessness is no longer a problem isolated merely to the victims of substance abuse, gambling addiction or mental illness. The market downturn has forced people on the edges of the labour force into positions of serious disadvantage.
On Thursday 17 June 2010, the Vinnies CEO Sleepout will be taking place in capital cities across Australia. The event aims to raise funds and increase community awareness about homelessness by challenging business and community leaders to experience homelessness first-hand for one night.
There are already 350 CEOs who have risen to the challenge, some of the people taking part include:
- Catriona Noble, CEO of McDonald’s Australia
- Bruce McKenzie, COO of InterContinental Hotels Group
- Bruce Davidson, CEO of Australian Associated Press
- Brian McCarthy, CEO of Fairfax Media Limited
- David Borger, NSW Minister for Housing
- Tanya Plibersek, Federal Minister for Housing
- Michael Reede, Partner of Allen & Overy
- Andrew Petering, MD of Wolseley Private Equity
- Gary Edstein, Senior Vice President of DHL Express
Please check out the website, and consider supporting the participants by making a donation or rising to the challenge by taking part yourself!