GET INVOLVED: Vinnies are calling on support for this year's Community Sleepout, raising money and awareness for homelessness.
GET INVOLVED: Vinnies are calling on support for this year's Community Sleepout, raising money and awareness for homelessness. Contributed

Give one night for the homeless

THIS week marks Homelessness Week and all Australians are being called to raise awareness and work towards achieving long-term solutions to the crisis.

Running from August 6-12, this year's theme is 'Ending Homelessness Together'.

Homelessness Australia estimates more than 116,000 people are without permanent or adequate housing, meaning one in 200 Australians do it tough every night.

While fundraisers and events will be held during the week, locally St Vincent de Paul are busy organising the annual Vinnies Community Sleepout happening later this month.

The Sunshine Coast is not exempt from homelessness, in fact St Vincent de Paul Northern Diocesan president John Harrison said it was a major issue.

"Over 900 people are homeless on the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

"This will be our sixth year of the sleepout and our aim is to raise $150,000.

"Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington will be there and will speak; it is great to have his support.”

The community sleepout will be held on Thursday, August 23 at Maroochydore Surf Club.

"We want people to experience a night of being homeless and what these people do 365 days a year,” Mr Harrison said.

He said several Noosa schools and organisations would be involved.

"I know the headmaster at St Teresa's gets involved and we have signed up Coles at Noosa Junction and hopefully Bunnings here.”

The local diocese will use the funds raised to refurbish nine recently purchased units in Maroochydore to be used as transitional housing.

"This will help get 20 people off the streets.”

"We now have 67 (housing facilities) in total on the Coast so we are building our own stock,” he said.

To register for the sleepout visit www.community sleepout.org.au.

"Every one homeless person we can get off the street is a win for the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Harrison said.


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