The St Vincent de Paul Society officially launched its 2012 CEO Sleepout today.
The event is in its third year in Queensland and this year will be held in every Australian captial city on the 21st of June.
Alice McCarthy reports.
The Brisbane sleepout will see political and corporate heavyweights spend the night in sleeping bags at South Bank’s Suncorp Piazza to raise funds and awareness about homelessness.
Vinnies representatives say the need for help is greater than ever before.
Sharon Shearsmith, St Vincent de Paul Society Qld Acting CEO: “Recent times, such as the natural disasters, increase mortgage stress that is affecting across Australia. But the natural disasters of last year had a huge impact particularly in some of the local Brisbane areas.”
Brisbane’s Lord Mayor will be among the community leaders participating this year.
He says it fits in well with his plan to promote inclusiveness in Brisbane.
Graham Quirk, Lord Mayor of Brisbane: “Everybody has a story to tell and that story is worth listening to. We’re all born equal and we’re all going to die equal.”
Queensland has the second highest homeless population in Australia, of which more than 3000 are living within Brisbane’s CBD.
Anthony Flynn of Kenlynn Properties Australia is making a stand against the severity of homelessness in our city.
Anthony Flynn, Kenlynn Properties CEO: “For me this has been a rewarding experience and I encourage all CEOs out there to click off their Apple computers, put down their golf clubs, and leave the Malibu in the garage, and for one night come and walk in the shoes of a homeless person.”
Also today, Anglicare released its 2012 Rental Affordability Snapshot, which shows there’s a shortage of affordable and suitable housing options available for low income earners.
Canon Rod MacDonald, Social Justice Anglicare South Qld: “Certainly, like the sleepout, any lived experience by government officials, bureaucats and ourselves does help us, inform us, of the degree of the difficulty these good people face.”
Alice McCarthy, QUT News.