According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the rate of homelessness in Australia has increased by 4.6% over the last five years.
The Newtown Neighbourhood Centre (NNC) is calling upon Inner West residents to grab their sleeping bags and brave a night under the stars for the annual ‘Newtopian Sleepout’ event on Tuesday 6 August.
Held in Newtown Square, participants will brave the cold to gain deeper insights into homelessness as well as learn how to take action on a local level.
When the event was introduced just two years ago there were only four people who were sleeping on the streets in Newtown, compared to a recent count that found there are around 30 rough sleepers.
In a statement, NNC Chief executive Liz Yeo elaborated, “homelessness is a growing issue in the Newtown area due to a range of complex issues including the chronic shortage of affordable and available rental housing, domestic and family violence, and economic and social exclusion.”
“In response to this growing demand we decided as an organisation that we need to take action immediately so we hired a new Homelessness Service Coordinator who will work over the next 12 months towards securing appropriate permanent accommodation for 30 people. This investment has been possible thanks to the money raised by the people who took part in the previous Newtopian Sleepouts.”
For more information on this great cause or to sign up as a participant in the sleepout, visit their website.