Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Macarthur homeless need your help

Yes, it was cold!

Despite sleeping in ALL my clothes, inside a -5 degree sleeping bag, the breeze blowing across the Campbelltown Showground after midnight last Friday night (and Saturday morning) chilled us all to the bone.

And I had two (2) beanies on all night!

Prudential Real Estate was one of the major sponsors of the inaugural Macarthur Winter Sleepout held on Friday 13 August and we certainly paid a price to learn what it's like to be homeless, sleeping rough in a park during a Campbelltown winter night.

At least it didn't rain (phew!)

The night was organised by the Macarthur Homelessness Steering Committee, made up of representatives from service providers who work with the city's homeless population and headed up by the indefatigable Cathy Chopping.  

Cathy kept proceedings on time for the crowd of several hundred who were both entertained and saddened by the speakers.  When a young lady, Krystal, spoke of her decade of homelessness her tears, as she described her harrowing tale of desperation and loneliness, bought home to us all how lucky we were and how much needs to be done to support those without a home of their own

Yes, I was cold but it was only one night, not every night.  

Did you know that the Sydney Homeless Information Centre receives more than 20 calls a night for emergency accommodation in Campbelltown.

In our business we work with people every day looking for rental accommodation.  At every open house there are often more than 10 applicants. We know only one of those applicants will be approved.  Where do the other 9 applicants go?  Perhaps I found out last Friday night.

Special thanks are extended to my team members who joined me on the night - Shaun Moss, Nick Gauci, Alyce Price, Scott Shooter and Claudia Rominger, all of whom got to sleep with the boss for one night.  And thanks to my son Daniel who bought in emergency supplies of Doritos and Snakes at the beginning of the night to ensure we were properly sustained till breakfast.

The Macarthur Winter Sleepout will be an annual event and I hope you will join us next year.

Read more in our August newsletter