Vinnies are encouraging community members to sleep rough under the stars, and through a cold winter night to raise funds to support those experiencing homelessness in the Murrumbidgee.
This year is the first year the Murrumbidgee region have taken part in the community sleepout in person, after holding it virtually in 2020 where participants raised approximately 13 thousand dollars.
With a fundraising goal of $20,000, all funds raised from the event will go directly towards Vinnies Care and Support Centres in Griffith, Leeton and Narrandera.
In the last year alone, these centres were able to assist over 650 individuals and families and provided over $155,990 in financial assistance.
"The funds this year will ensure the Care and Support Centres across the Murrumbidgee region can continue to support and assist those in our community who are most vulnerable and at risk of homelessness" a Vinnies spokesperson said.
Vinnies NSW CEO Jack de Groot urged community members to get involved and sleep out in solidarity at a time when many are still struggling to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
"While life has begun to return to normal after the disruption of last year, there are still many households and individuals doing it particularly tough around the state," Mr de Groot said.
According to Vinnies, in NSW alone there are well over 37,000 people experiencing homelessness, with around 40 percent of this total sleeping outside major cities.
Moreover, the current waitlist for social housing in NSW is over 51,000 applicants - or the equivalent of 110,000 people - many of whom have been waiting for up to 10 years for a home.
Murrumbidgee event coordinator Sue Oosthuysen said registrations were now open for the event for individuals and those wanting to participate in fundraising teams.
"We just want to put the challenge out there and raise funds to combat homelessness in our communities" Mrs Oosthuysen said.
"All funds raised in the Murrumbidgee will stay in the Murrumbidgee"
The sleepout will be held on Friday the 27th of August at Griffith Sacred Heart Church.
For more information and to get involved you can head to https://my.fundraise.vinniesnsw.org.au/vinnies-community-sleepout-murrumbidgee-region-2021
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: