Catching a glimpse of homelessness, the leaders spent the night on concrete, with only a sleeping bag and thin piece of cardboard for comfort.
The Principals Sleepout on May 6 was a fundraising prelude to the annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout which will be held at Lot Fourteen on June 17.
School leaders participating were from St Michael’s College, St Francis de Sales College, St Brigid’s Catholic School, St Joseph’s Hindmarsh, Our Lady Queen of Peace School, Our Lady of the Visitation School, Whitefriars Catholic School, Rosary School, St Anthony’s School and Stella Maris Parish School.
Meanwhile the St Vincent de Paul Society has launched its 2021 Winter Appeal, calling for donations to help support the rising number of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including children.
National president Claire Victory said that historically low wages and cuts to income support, coupled with rising house prices and the decline in affordable rental accommodation, were pushing more families into homelessness.
“This has been exacerbated by the economic impact from the COVID pandemic,” she said.
“The government’s coronavirus supplement helped keep many struggling families afloat over the past year. When that safety net disappeared at the end of March, it left the most vulnerable members of our community with nowhere to turn.
“In the second year of the pandemic, families are fighting to stay in their own homes, and right around the country it is children who are bearing the greatest burden.
“As temperatures drop, more people are living in cars, couch surfing or sleeping in situations that put them at risk.”
Ms Victory said Vinnies provides vital services and support to individuals and families facing financial hardship.
“Our members and volunteers are on the frontlines every day, working with families, intervening early to help people find accommodation as quickly as possible and supporting people to maintain stable housing.
“With generous support from the public we can help maintain the dignity of those on the edge and restore hope to people who have fallen on hard times.”
To donate to the Winter Appeal go to www.vinnies.org.au/winterappeal or call 131812.
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