Sleepout spotlights homeless's plight

COLD COMFORT: Scalabrini Village staff members Tiffany Bodocco, Janine Wood and Gemma McNab were among those who braved the cold on Saturday night as part of the Mission Australia Winter Sleep Out.

COLD COMFORT: Scalabrini Village staff members Tiffany Bodocco, Janine Wood and Gemma McNab were among those who braved the cold on Saturday night as part of the Mission Australia Winter Sleep Out.

COLD, wet and miserable Scalabrini Village staff couldn't have picked a worse night to brave the elements in Griffith on Saturday.

But the inclement weather couldn't deter about 30 people who took part in Mission Australia's Winter Sleepout to raise vital funds so homeless Australians can have a safe place to sleep this winter.

Scalabrini sleepout organiser Janine Wood said, despite the freezing conditions, it felt good to know they had helped make a difference.

"This is the first time we've done it and it was a really good night," she said.

"It was freezing, but at least we had swags, tents and a fire to keep us warm. It certainly gave us a better understanding of what some people go through.

"It was a team building exercise for Scalabrini Village. It was nice to see the families of staff members get involved too. We started at around midday on Saturday and some people came and went, but there were about 25 or so that stayed continuously all day and slept over and didn't leave until 8am the next morning."

According to Mission Australia, as winter sets in it's a bleak outlook for many individuals and families who don't have a place to call home.

More than 105,000 Australians are homeless on any given night; including 62,000 families.

Gemma McNab said she was happy to have been part of the night.

"It was a real eye-opener for me," she said.

"It felt good to raise awareness and money for homeless people.

"It was cold and raining and that only made us realise how hard it is for others.

"To raise money for this cause feels really worthwhile."

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