SECRETARY of the Department of Human Services Kathryn Campbell has raised $30,990 for the annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout, the highest out of the 95 ACT participants this year.
On Thursday 19 June, Ms Campbell slept rough for the fourth year in a row to raise awareness and funds for homeless services provided by the St Vincent de Paul Society.
Ms Campbell said the Sleepout is an important reminder about the harsh Canberra winter conditions thousands of homeless people face in the ACT every day.
“Canberra has the second highest rate of homelessness in Australia, with nearly 2000 homeless people doing it tough each day,” Ms Campbell said.
“The Sleepout is a great opportunity to raise awareness of homelessness, as well as funds to support some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
“It is part of an ongoing effort from our department, in particular from our national network of Community Engagement Officers, who support homeless people by connecting them to payments and services.
“Our Community Engagement Officers help homeless people and those at risk of homelessness claim, understand and maintain income support payments, and can refer people to other local agencies for extra support.”
Thanks to donations from department staff and the wider community over the last four years, Ms Campbell has raised almost $100,000 for the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.
To put this figure in perspective, this amount of money could ensure one thousand families keep their power on this winter, can provide 500 families in crisis with emergency accommodation and food, could relocate and establish 200 homeless people into one of the Society’s homeless accommodation services, or could pay the rent for 100 families facing eviction from their homes.
“I am so proud of the ongoing generosity of staff and can’t thank them enough for once again digging deep to support this important cause,” Ms Campbell said.
Ms Campbell was one of more than 1000 CEOs who took part across Australia, raising a total of more than $5.7 million for Vinnies’ homeless services this year.
More information about the department’s Community Engagement Officers can be found online.
Further information about the Vinnies CEO Sleepout is available at ceosleepout.org.au