Vinnies CEO Sleepout0
Local business owner, Helen Paddon, will take part in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout charity event this year, for the second year running.
The one-night event takes place on the Winter Solstice, which falls on the 21st of June and will see hundreds of CEOs, business owners and community and government leaders sleep outdoors in order to raise funds to assist Vinnies to provide essential services to people doing it tough.
Homelessness can affect anyone – but it disproportionately affects people living with disability or mental illness, and people who have experienced abuse. Through events like the CEO Sleepout, Vinnies are raising public awareness and helping Queenslanders break the cycle of poverty for good.
At the event last year, the Vinnies CEO Sleepout raised 5.6 million dollars for people experiencing homelessness. The Brisbane and Gold Coast 2017 events raised more than $1 million, which went towards housing and other support for people facing homelessness. This year, they are hoping they can make an even bigger impact.
At the event, Vinnies CEO Peter Maher announced the purchase of over six million dollars of housing in Queensland. The housing, located in Cairns, Mackay, Toowoomba and Brisbane, is used to provide safe, secure and affordable accommodation for individuals and families who would otherwise have no place to call home.
Vinnies Queensland has been involved in providing housing to the homeless for over forty years and has recently established the Vinnies Housing Company to manage their properties. Since 2008, when the Society owned just forty-two properties, Vinnies has made it a priority to invest in housing for people facing homelessness or who are at risk. The Society now owns more than four hundred and fifty properties across Queensland, that people experiencing severe disadvantage call home. Vinnies Queensland provides support, helping people transition to independent tenancies in the private or public housing sector, providing them with a hand up, not just a hand out.
Helen first experienced homelessness when she was 8. “As a child, we lived in a caravan park for about 18 months and moved around quite a lot because my parents didn’t have the financial stability to rent a property on a long-term basis. There were a few nights when we slept in the family car because we didn’t have anywhere to live. It was freezing and I didn’t get more than two hours sleep all night.”
“It’s heartbreaking to know that there are over 105,000 Australians experiencing homelessness each and every night, with many more at risk. Many are sleeping on the street with less than I had,” said Helen.
Now, CEO of Tradettes Plumbing, Helen has a goal of raising over $5000 this year to fight homelessness. As at the time of writing, she has successfully raised $1,172.00.
Can you help? If you would like to donate please visit – www.ceosleepout.org.au/fundraisers/helen-yost