July 26, 2019 by Tony Chapman
Recently, a number of very brave CEOs… and me… did the Vinnies CEO sleepout in Launceston.
Thank you to all those amazing people who sponsored me in this sleepout. SRA raised $6217 which was a huge effort and will provide much needed accommodation and support for those who find themselves without a home this winter.
The intent of the sleepout is to raise funds and awareness… it isn’t intended to simulate what life is like for a homeless person. I doubt the sleepout experience even comes close – I did have the ‘luxury’ for example, of knowing that I was sleeping in a locked stadium i.e. quite safe.
But it gave me an ever-deeper appreciation for some of the challenges faced by people doing this, and doing so on a regular basis. The sense of dread and anxiousness during the day about where I would be sleeping, if I would be able to sleep, and how uncomfortable I imagined I might be. Knowing that my medical conditions weren’t at all supported by sleeping out (and in fact, would be made worse). And then during the night, the challenge of sleeping on a piece of cardboard on a slab of concrete… often too cold to sleep.
For the fact that this experience doesn’t even come close to what some homeless people experience… well… I actually have no words. But I’m very grateful that there are organisations out there like Vinnies who do such a great job of supporting those in need as best they can.