Help­ing is­sue hit home

SLEEP OUT SPREADS WORD ON HOME­LESS­NESS

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Kaylee Martin

ABOUT one in 20 peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence home­less­ness ev­ery night across Aus­tralia.

To fight this statis­tic, more than 100 busi­ness, gov­ern­ment and com­mu­nity lead­ers in WA will par­tic­i­pate in a sleep out to raise money for the St Vin­cent de Paul So­ci­ety.

Ten­nis West chief ex­ec­u­tive and Hop­man Cup man­ager Ge­off Quin­lan will step out of the Bur­swood-based head­quar­ters to get in­volved on June 23.

Par­tic­i­pants will brave the win­ter weather and sleep out­side the WACA on one of the long­est nights of the year with just a sheet of card­board.

The sleep out aims to raise aware­ness of is­sues faced by home­less peo­ple, as well as raise vi­tal funds to sup­port cur­rent and new re­sponses to home­less­ness in WA.

Mr Quin­lan is striv­ing to raise at least $5000 to help break the cy­cle of poverty and home­less­ness.

“I’m proud to par­tic­i­pate as I know more and more in­di­vid­u­als face the hard­ship of in­creas­ing house prices and rents that force them onto the streets,” he said.

“It’s a fun­da­men­tal right to be able to sleep with a roof over your head, and the home­less cri­sis is an is­sue I feel strongly about and hope to play a small role in ad­dress­ing and bring­ing aware­ness to.

“These in­di­vid­u­als are the most vul­ner­a­ble, the most at risk and we need to do all we can to pro­vide ad­e­quate shel­ter to the thou­sands who have no place to call home.”

Last year WA lead­ers raised more than $880,000, which helped the St Vin­cent de Paul So­ci­ety as­sist 40,000 peo­ple.

St Vin­cent de Paul So­ci­ety WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Fitz­patrick said the event en­abled lead­ers to come to­gether and make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of the less for­tu­nate.

“This year we want peo­ple to un­der­stand the true re­al­ity of home­less­ness,” Mr Fitz­patrick said.

“While you sleep, more than 105,000 Australians have no place to call home.

“About 27 per cent of Aus­tralia’s home­less are chil­dren and 23 per cent are faced with this sit­u­a­tion due to do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence. Behind each statis­tic is the story of a fel­low Aus­tralian who has ex­pe­ri­enced the ex­treme iso­la­tion and des­per­a­tion of home­less­ness.”

Donate to Mr Quin­lan’s fundrais­ing page at www.ceosleep­out.org.au/ceos/wa-ceos/ge­off-quin­lan.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d455308

Ten­nis West chief ex­ec­u­tive and Hop­man Cup gen­eral man­ager Ge­off Quin­lan.

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