Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services Luke Howarth will spend tonight couchsurfing as part of the annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout.
The event raises funds for crisis accommodation, food, healthcare, counselling, employment and support to find a permanent home for people across the country.
Assistant Minister Howarth says he will be couchsurfing for the night to raise awareness of the many different forms of homelessness that vulnerable Australians experience every night.
In 2016 the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated more than 116,000 people were homeless on Census night. More than 40 percent were living in severely overcrowded dwellings and couchsurfing makes up for around 15 percent.
“2020 has been a tough year for many Australians, it’s never been more important for us as a nation to do our bit and support the St Vincent De Paul CEO Sleepout,” Assistant Minister Howarth said.
“Since the Sleepout first started 14 years ago, almost $60 million has been raised nationally, with nearly $8 million raised in 2019 alone,” Assistant Minister Howarth said.
“Even though this year’s event looks a little different, I am proud to continue supporting this cause. I encourage everyone to get involved in any way they can.
“There are many great organisations across Australia working on the ground providing services and supporting those who need it most, St Vincent De Paul is just one of those.”
In response to social distancing requirements this year’s event will be held online with an interactive live stream for participants to share their experience with others around the country.