South Australia’s contribution boosted the national tally to a record $8.2 million.
Those taking part in the Adelaide sleepout embraced the conditions and continued to call on their networks throughout the evening to support their fundraising efforts.
Vice-Chancellor and president of the University of Adelaide, Professor Peter Høj, took out highest fundraiser honours, and is closing in on the $45,000 mark. Professor Høj said he was motivated to take part in the sleepout when, after returning to Adelaide after being away for eight years, he noticed more people sleeping rough.
“I live in the city and walk to work every morning, and I had noticed that there were more and more people needing help,” he said.
Professor Høj kicked off his fundraising with a self-donation, noting it was “important to demonstrate your own commitment to the cause”.
Labor Leader Peter Malinausksas, who was participating in his fifth sleepout, told FIVEaa Radio that it’s “always a good event”.
“It’s daunting at the beginning of the night, but when you wake up in the morning and you’ve raised a few quid, it’s worth it,” he said.
Vinnies CEO Louise Miller Frost was delighted with the outcome.
“We could not have predicted this incredible result, especially given the atrocious weather conditions. However, it seems the rain and cold and the discomfort of sleeping outdoors really hit home, and those who took part were very well supported by generous donations from their friends, family and professional networks,” she said.
“Funds raised will go a long way to supporting people facing homelessness – whether that is by meeting their immediate needs for crisis accommodation, including women fleeing domestic violence; helping to put food on the table, pay bills and rent; or by providing a warm meal through our 10 Fred’s Van meal service locations.
“We are seeing greater demand for assistance, and we are not expecting that demand to abate any time soon. Those who took part and who may be feeling sore and sorry for themselves after an uncomfortable night can take great pride in the fact that the record total they each contributed to will make a lasting difference in people’s lives. We are so grateful for their support.”
Donations can still be made to individual participants or to Vinnies via www.ceosleepout.org.au until July 31.