blog. Louise works in a homeless shelter in Canada and often shares stories of the people she meets and their stories. Stories about ordinary people like you and I who fall on tough times.
The reason I'm posting about this tonight was because this morning they were interviewing an Adelaide CEO on the radio who participated in the CEO's sleep out last night in Adelaide. The event started in Sydney in 2006 and in 2010 the event was launched nationally and exceeded expectations, attracting almost 700 CEO’s in 7 cities nationally and raising $2.9 million to directly assist people experiencing homelessness.
On the 16th June, CEO's sleep rough for a night to gain an understanding of what it's like to be homeless and to raise money and bring awareness to a problem that affects way too many people. Armed with a pillow, sleeping bag and several bits of cardboard they attempt to spend the night in the elements with a simple meal of soup and bread. They have more than most who live on the streets would have. Last night Mother Nature did it's bit to contribute to their understanding of the problem by providing plenty of wind, rain and cold temperatures.
On the radio this morning, Brian, an Adelaide CEO who participated in the event said that a young former homeless girl spoke to them last night and pointed out the reality that 'Homelessness is not fun, it's not just a one night sleepover where you experience a bit of discomfort like you are tonight. It's ongoing and it's fraught with danger' He said her words (and there was lots more she had to say) awakened many of them to the realities of being homeless.
While those CEO's that slept out last night could go home for a nice hot shower this morning and be tucked up warm in their beds tonight, homeless people do not have that option. Statistics show that in Adelaide:
There are over 1000 people identified as homeless across our state. It is believed this is just the tip of the iceberg. How many others are “couch surfers” or just one short step away from being homeless?
Nearly half of Australia’s 105,000 homeless people are women and sadly, around thirty percent are children.
Most common reasons for homelessness in South Australia are family breakdown, unemployment, drugs, alcohol and domestic violence.
The website for the CEO Sleepout is here and there are details of how you can contribute to the effort by donating and also provides information on how you can nominate or sponsor your boss for next year.
Tonight I am extremely thankful that my family and I have a home and that we are warm and fed. Sometimes it takes amazing people like Louise and the CEO's around Australia who participated in the sleepout who awaken us to the harsh realities of life and show us that we can make a difference no matter how small.
If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get. ~ Frank A. Clark