By Mitchell Ogden
More than 27, 000 Queenslanders are homeless on any given night and over 7000 of them are minors.
St Vincent De Paul’s 2012 CEO Sleepout, launched today, is designed to raise awareness for this issue.
The event allows corporate executives and political figures to spend a night living the life of a homeless person.
Attending the launch were people who have already volunteered including Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, Ipswich Lord Mayor Paul Pisasale and St Vinnies acting CEO Sharon Shearsmith.
Ms Shearsmith says Vinnies has high hopes for this year’s Sleepout.
“This year we hope to raise at least $700, 000.
“Our goal is to end homelessness altogether.”
She says Queenslanders in particular need to be aware of the alarming facts.
“In Queensland we have the second highest homeless population in Australia.
“The natural disasters of last year had a huge impact, particularly in some of the local Brisbane areas.”
Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk is attending the CEO Sleepout for the third straight year.
He says participating in the event is important because Brisbane has a large homeless population.
“In Brisbane, even in our inner city locations, we’re looking at over 2000 people that are homeless.
“Up to 200 of those are under the age of 18.”
Kenlynn Properties Australia co-chief executive Anthony Flynn is the leading donator for the event.
He has raised almost $15, 000 so far and says his motivation to get involved comes from recent experiences.
“Over the last month I’ve been fortunate enough to go down and feed the homeless people in Brisbane.
“What has absolutely astounded me is that these people are just everyday people who are out of luck, out of love, and need support.”
He urges other corporate executives to help raise money and awareness for the cause.
“I say to all the CEOs out there to click off your computers, put down your golfclubs, leave the Malibu in the garage and just for one night come and walk in the shoes of a homeless person.”
For more information or to make a donation visit the CEO Sleepout website.