Acting Mayor Cr Mark Di Pasquale and Cr Alison Zandegu will be sleeping rough and cold on Greensborough Walk overnight on Saturday 15 July, joining the Diamond Valley Community Sleepout to raise awareness of and funds to support people living in poverty.
This year, funds raised from the St Vincent de Paul event, from 9pm-6am outside WaterMarc, will provide much needed assistance to single mothers and children in the Diamond Valley region who are bearing the brunt of poverty and on the brink of being homeless.
Crs Di Pasquale and Zandegu will be among 24 local community and business leaders sleeping rough and raising funds to meet a $25,000 target, which is needed to support 10-12 families with rental assistance.
Cr Di Pasquale said that apart from raising funds, the event will raise awareness about the extent of homelessness, with too many in the community who don’t have a stable, safe and appropriate place to live.
“While this event will provide us with an insight into the realities of homelessness as we brave the cold and sleep rough for one night, it is sobering to realise that for many people of all ages, this is a nightly occurrence and not a matter of choice,” Cr Di Pasquale said.
“Over 22,000 people experience homelessness on any given night in Victoria, with women representing almost half of that number and children one third.”
Cr Di Pasquale said the leading causes of homelessness include domestic and family violence, financial difficulties and the housing crisis, particularly in relation to a shortfall of public housing, with Victoria having the lowest supply of public housing of any state or territory.
“Homelessness has so many flow on effects. People who are homeless or facing homelessness often lose connections with family, friends and the community, and find it difficult accessing education or employment. They suffer a lack of security and privacy, as well as discrimination,” he said.
“I encourage the community to get behind the Diamond Valley Sleepout."