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  • Writer's pictureEdward Lin

I Sleep out @2018 Vinnies CEO Sleepout

A Soul Enriching Experience in Sydney, Australia

by Edward Lin, CEO of Romax

In the Southern Hemisphere, June 21, 2018 is the “Winter Solstice” on Chinese Calendar and is consider the longest and coldest night of the winter.

In order to experience homelessness, I participated in Vinnies CEO Sleepout, a fundraising event for the homelessness. My basic configuration, like everyone else, is a sleeping bag, and a cardboard piece provided by the event organizers to serve as a temporary shelter.

This year, the homeless people came to the Sydney event site to share their real story were three homeless families who used to experience the hardship of their life. Before receiving assistant from St. Vincent de Paul Society, they were forced out their house and become homelessness for various different reasons. These heartbreaking tearful stories have made participants at the event aware that in Australia, many people have similar experiences with them.

At midnight, when I huddled in a sleeping bag to go to sleep, watching the sky full of stars and I suddenly realised how lucky I was to live in a roofed house. During this night, I didn't sleep well and only slept for about 2 hours. I got sore back the next day. Almost every participant did not sleep well.

Why are people sleeping on the street?

The intention of participating in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout was related to the many street people I often saw on my business trip. I could not understand why they were sleeping in a place with no shelter and no safety. From attending in different related fundraising events and information from various different sources, I realized that the increasing problems of the homelessness and is growing worst every day. Therefore, I decided to join in the Vinnie’s CEO Sleepout to help to solve the problems.

In Australia, there are more than 116,000 people are experience homelessness, but many people are not aware of this situation. Many of my friends often asked why people are sleeping in the streets while Australia have social security system in place? The reality is that although Australia has such a great social security system, some people still cannot get government assistance on time. If you become a homelessness because of family violence or other reasons, even if you apply for assistance, you must wait for some time to get benefits. In this way, the homelessness either sleeps on the street or sleeps in the car during the period when he/she loses his/her home and is not resettled. If you are lucky, you can live with friends. So, they need our help.

In 2018 Vinnies CEO Sleepout, a total of about $7 million was raised. A total of 327 CEOs, Business Owners, Government and Community leaders from Sydney participated in the event, raising a total of about 2 million Australian dollars.

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