CEO of international homebuilding company G.J. Gardner Homes, Darren Wallis, builds dream homes for a living, but on Thursday night (June 20), he’ll spend the night homeless on the streets of Brisbane.
The St Vincent de Paul Society CEO Sleepout is a national event that raises awareness and much-needed funds for services that help address homelessness in the community.
Mr Wallis who hails from Mooloolaba said the Vinnies CEO Sleepout gives participants a brief glimpse of the issues that homeless people face everyday,” he said.
“Some people don't have a choice about whether they sleep out or not, they just have to. I hope that by coming together to better understand homelessness and to talk about the issues, we can start to get people off the streets and into sustainable accommodation options.
“At least 100,000 Australians sleep rough each night of the year. Raising funds and awareness for homelessness in Australia is the least I can do,” Mr Wallis said.
According to the most recent data released by the Australian Census, in Brisbane alone, close to 20,000 are homeless and either sleep rough or stay in boarding houses, crisis accommodation or with friends.
The fundraising tally for Brisbane has already eclipsed the $500,000 mark and has attracted some of the State’s top CEOs who will sleep on three pieces of cardboard and receive a bowl of soup and a hot drink on June 20.
The event will be held simultaneously in all capital cities across Australia. Money raised in Queensland will be used to help local homeless people though St Vincent de Paul Society services.
To support Darren or donate to the CEO Sleepout, visit the website www.ceosleepout.org.au.