Vinnies CEO Sleepout launches at Lot Fourteen, Adelaide

Vinnies SA

The Lot Fourteen innovation precinct is set to host South Australian business and community leaders at the Vinnies CEO Sleepout on 17 June 2021, to raise funds for and awareness about homelessness in our community.

Located in the heart of the Adelaide CBD at the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site, Lot Fourteen is a place where innovation, entrepreneurship, research, education, culture and tourism come together. Its collaborative workspaces provide an exciting environment for global companies, startups and organisations from the hi-tech, space, defence and creative industries.

Lot Fourteen State Project Lead, Di Dixon, said she was delighted to welcome the 2021 Vinnies CEO Sleepout to the precinct.

‘What we are building here at Lot Fourteen is a community of innovators, and in a very short time we have established a real sense of belonging amongst tenants. We’re acutely aware that for many South Australians who are facing homelessness that feeling of belonging is currently out of reach, so we are very happy to host the event and get the community here involved,’ she said.

This year’s Vinnies CEO Sleepout sees a return to an in-person gathering, after a Covid-impacted event in 2020 resulted in it being livestreamed. Participants got involved by sleeping outside at home, or in cars or on couches – common locations where people experiencing homelessness endeavour to sleep.

Vinnies SA CEO Louise Miller Frost is eager to connect with other business and community leaders to shine a light on homelessness, and raise much needed funds to combat the anticipated rise in the number of people facing homelessness due to the end of JobKeeper, the return of JobSeeker to unliveable levels, high unemployment, and an affordable housing crisis.

‘A perfect storm is brewing. Last week we took the highest number of calls for assistance in one day since March last year, and we do expect calls for help to keep climbing,’ said Ms Miller Frost.

Last year was Ms Miller Frost’s first Vinnies CEO Sleepout, having commenced in the CEO role just as the full effects of Covid were reaching South Australia.

‘I had a very uncomfortable night’s sleep on the pavers in my backyard, and all I could think was: ‘what if I had to do this every night?’ It brought into even sharper focus the need for action on homelessness.’

Ms Miller Frost said that Vinnies was taking a long-term view of changes that need to occur to meaningfully impact the number of people who were at risk of or facing homelessness, and was working closely with other agencies and the government. However, current circumstances demand that the organisation has the financial resources to help people in crisis now, and funds raised at the Vinnies CEO Sleepout are crucial to this.

‘We are very pleased that the event will be held at the high-profile Lot Fourteen precinct, and we hope this will attract a new wave of participants. Every person who registers to sleep out and raise funds can rest assured that they are making a genuine difference to the lives of people impacted by homelessness,’ she said.

On the back of the success of last year’s livestreamed event, when people in regional South Australia register they can elect to participate on the night by sleeping out in their backyard, on a couch or in a car and tune in to proceedings.

Registration for the Vinnies CEO Sleepout is via the ceosleepout.org.au website. Business or community leaders can register individually or as a team.

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