On 19 June, Defence Housing Australia’s (DHA) Managing Director, Peter Howman joined more than 1,000 CEO’s across Australia spend a night sleeping rough to experience homelessness first-hand for the 2014 St Vincent de Paul Society CEO Sleepout.
The aim of the CEO Sleepout is to increase awareness through influential community leaders. Starting as a local community event, the CEO Sleepout began in Parramatta, Sydney. The event was launched nationally in 2010, and has raised more than $19 million.
Providing homes for those that need them most is an issue that sits particularly close with Peter as DHA pays a crucial role in building houses and providing homes for Defence members and their families.
“I know all too well how the rising cost of living expenses and lack of employment opportunities impact those who are in need of accommodation. Not only are the homeless battling significant personal problems, they are up against a tough market where there is a critical shortage in affordable housing,” Peter said.
With a total of $5,697,682 being raised across the country through this year’s event, Peter raised a total of $26,941, making him the highest fundraiser on the night in the ACT region.
Each CEO was given the essentials to survive the night; a sleeping bag, pillow, three pieces of cardboard for shelter, a cup of soup and a bread roll. Despite the cold Canberra weather overnight, Peter was positive about his experience.
“I am so proud to be part of this event, as it raises much-needed awareness on this issue. I hope that the money raised can help get someone get back on their feet.”
Donations go to providing vital assistance to the 100,000 people currently experiencing homelessness in Australia. This year the money will fund new projects, assist with the provision of existing homeless services and allow the St Vincent de Paul Society to expand their programs of homeless services.
Donations are still open, if you would like to support Peter go to his page.
DHA Managing Director, Peter Howman preparing for CEO Sleepout in his DHA onesie.
Image courtesy of The Canberra Times.