St Vincent De Paul
Where would you go if you had to sleep rough? Would you sleep in a cemetery, a doorway, a drain, an abandoned building?
People who work with the homeless see and hear some amazing, dark stories – one of the oddest they tell is that desperate people have been known to sleep in cemeteries, even climbing into graves to find shelter and safety.
An Adelaide homeless man was found living in a drain a few years back – they worked out he’d been there for six years.
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Each night in Australia 105,000 people are homeless, including 7,500 families. Each June leading Australian CEOs and business leaders sleep rough for one night in support of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.
Contrary to common perceptions about homelessness, 44 per cent of homeless people are women, many of these accompanied by children. It is a shocking fact that more than 12,000 Australian children under the age of 12 are experiencing some form of homelessness. A further 22,000 young people aged 12 to 18 are homeless, most of them estranged from their families. That’s more than 34,000 kids without a place they can call home.
Speaking at the recent launch of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout 2012, Dr John Falzon, St Vincent de Paul Society CEO, National Council said: “Children who are homeless are more likely to become homeless later in life and raise families who, in turn, also become homeless. You can guess why we haven’t solved the problem.”
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