Last Thursday night more than 70 Sunshine Coast locals spent a night sleeping rough outside the Maroochydore Surf Club to raise $125,577 in support of the 1500 homeless men, women and children on the Sunshine Coast.
The group, who were participating in the Vinnies Community Sleepout, included local business people, community members and dignitaries. They spent the night with nothing more than a sleeping bag and piece of cardboard to protect them from the rain.
Participant and Sunshine Coast Business Council (SCBC) chair Sandy Zubrinich says while the weather made conditions harsh, those living on the streets battled tough conditions. “This event is about getting out of your comfort zone and putting yourself in a position that thousands of Australians find themselves in across the country,” she says.
“[It] is such an important local event as it not only builds awareness of homelessness within our society, but also raises essential funds for services that assist disadvantaged members of our community.”
Other SCBC members who participated included Stockland’s Adrian Allen and Ben Simpson, Evan Aldridge from Sekisui House and Sunshine Coast Airport’s Peter Pallot. The event also attracted support from the Coast’s politicians including Ted O’Brien, Andrew Wallace and Steve Dixon.
“We are always incredibly amazed and encouraged by the generosity of the Sunshine Coast community and this year once again reinforced this,” says St Vincent de Paul Society Northern Diocesan President Ian Laherty. “This is an issue that needs to be tackled as a community and the Sleepout gives us the opportunity to talk about how we can help and how we can avoid an increase in homelessness numbers as the Coast continues to grow.”
Donations are still being accepted at www.communitysleepout.org.au.