Register for NSW Vinnies Community Sleepouts to help tackle homelessness

ST Vincent de Paul is calling on Hawkesbury residents to sign-up for the Western Sydney Community Sleepout, to support and raise money for locals doing it tough.

There won't be a physical event as in previous years, but locals are asked to instead sleep out in cars, backyards and couches while tuning into an online live-stream.

Vinnies Community Sleepouts will be held across the state on Friday, October 23.

Following on from the success of the first virtual Vinnies CEO Sleepout which raised over $5.7 million back in June, Hawkesbury locals have the chance to raise awareness and funds for homelessness closer to home.

Funds raised will go towards supporting local Vinnies services which assist people experiencing disadvantage with food, financial aid and access to local services.

In the past year, Vinnies supported more than 2,500 people in the Hawkesbury-Nepean region.

Fifty-one per cent of recipients of assistance in the area earned between $500 and $1,000 per fortnight, while 14 per cent earned less than $500 per fortnight.

Thirty-one per cent of local people seeking assistance from Vinnies in the past year relied upon JobSeeker as their primary income.

Vinnies provided close to $607,000 in assistance with energy bills, clothing, household items, food vouchers and accommodation to people in the Hawkebsury-Nepean area during the period.

Vinnies NSW CEO Jack de Groot urged communities throughout New South Wales to unite in a show of solidarity with locals experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

"Between drought, bushfires and COVID-19 there are a lot of people unsure of when the tide will turn," said Mr de Groot.

Last year, 300 people participated in NSW Vinnies Community Sleepouts in regional areas and raised just under $160,000 to support Vinnies' work.

Register for the October sleepout or donate at fundraise.vinniesnsw.org.au/joinnow.

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