More than 80 local business figures will be spending a night sleeping rough on July 23 to highlight homelessness and to raise money
The third Hills Winter Sleepout organised by Hills Emeritus Mayor Michelle Byrne will be held at Bella Vista Farm. She hopes at least 120 people will take part.
- When: 6:00 pm Saturday 12 August 2017 to 10:30 am Sunday 13 August 2017
- Where: Bella Vista Farm, Elizabeth Macarthur Drive, BAULKHAM HILLS NSW 2153
Families at risk of homelessness
The focus on this year’s event is helping families at risk of homelessness because of domestic violence.
Funds raised will go to two Hills-based programs, Hills Community Aid and The Lisa Harnum Foundation.
Clr Byrne said:
The sleep out is one of the most uncomfortable nights of your life. Its wet and cold and the only thing between you are the ground is piece of cardboard.
However, it gives you some understanding of what it would be like to be homeless and how scary and isolating that would be particularly if you are also suffering from a mental illness. It is a reminder of how blessed we are to have a home to go to each night and food on the table but for some in our community that’s not the case.
There are people homeless in our community — sleeping on the couches of friends and families as a result of financial difficulties or women escaping Domestic violence and looking for crisis accommodation.
From time to time there are rough sleepers in the Hills — sleeping in their cars or on the streets.
The Sleep Out is an opportunity for the community to come together and to begin to work together to ensure all residents have a place to call home by supporting local charities who work with the homeless and those at risk of homelessness.”
Ben Jackson from Hills Community Aid said according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, over one-third of adults and children seeking help from specialist homelessness services did so for domestic and family violence reasons.
Early and ongoing intervention in these domestic violence situations is the most efficient and economic way of preventing homelessness.”
How are the funds used?
- Hills Community Aid used last year’s funds to run the Moving Forward program at Rouse Hill, to empower survivors of domestic violence and provide support.
- Funds have also helped in establishing a Hills Community Legal Service which will prioritise victims of domestic violence.
- The funds help the Lisa Harnum Foundation provide homes for families fleeing domestic violence.
Quilts and beanies will be for hire on the night.