Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon will spend the night sleeping in her car in Canberra after a fortnight in Federal Parliament. Canberrans are expecting a minimum overnight temperature of 3 degrees.
“The night is being run slightly differently this year as a result of COVID, with participants taking part from their cars, couches or backyards,” Ms Claydon said.
“The CEO Sleepout provides some insight into homelessness and demands that we focus on some of the issues that homeless people confront every day.”
Ms Claydon said the CEO Sleepout raises money for local Vinnie’s services providing food, accommodation, healthcare and support for people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.
“Last year, the donations to the Newcastle CEO Sleepout delivered funding for the Matthew Talbot Centre in Wickham to employ a property officer and a specialist mental health worker to give people the assistance and support to successfully transition to the private rental market.
“The CEO Sleepout will deliver a concrete positive outcomes for our community in Newcastle. I’d encourage everyone to dig deep and support it.”
Ms Claydon said it was a national tragedy that more Australians are homeless than ever before.
“On any given night, close to 120,000 Australians will be homeless. For a wealthy country like Australia – that’s to our great shame.
“Stable and secure housing, is absolutely central to developing wellbeing in all areas of our lives.”
Ms Claydon commended the work of Vinnie’s and all frontline services working to help people facing homelessness, but said that governments need to do more.
“We’ve seen through the COVID-19 crisis that where there is genuine commitment, we can rapidly reduce the number of people sleeping on the streets, in cars, or on couches,” Ms Claydon said.
“Now we need to take that political will and commit to genuine long-term solutions to drive down homelessness.”
To support Sharon and donate to the CEO Sleepout, visit https://www.ceosleepout.org.au/fundraisers/sharon-claydon-sharon-claydon-mp/newcastle