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Record numbers expected at sleepout for homeless

Sleeping out to help others sleep in

More than 100 people will swap their warm beds for a night on the streets, with record numbers expected at this year’s Vinnies Community Sleepout.

The annual charity event, hosted by the University of Southern Queensland, raises crucial funds to combat homelessness, an issue that affects around 500 people in Toowoomba each night.

Among those camping out will be University of Southern Queensland Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) Shawn Walker.

“Last year, we had around 120 people attend so we’re hoping to have even more people attend and learn more about homelessness through educational activities and the experience of sleeping rough for a night,” Mr Walker said.

“We’re proud to connect with our local community through this annual event, and it has been wonderful to see all the work our students have already dedicated to organising this fundraiser.”

The Sleepout has raised nearly $20,000 since it was first hosted at the University in 2019, providing locals experiencing homelessness with vital access to food and accommodation.

As well as fundraising for essential services, participants will hear from people with lived experiences of homelessness and learn about the factors that contribute to the growing number of people facing housing instability.

The event commences on Friday July 29.

Participants can register as individuals or in teams.

More details about participating and donating are available.

University of Southern Queensland Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) Shawn Walker and St Vincent de Paul Society QLD Youth Engagement & Development Officer Julie Inskip are joined by Residential College students at the launch for the Vinnies Community Sleepout.
University of Southern Queensland Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) Shawn Walker and St Vincent de Paul Society QLD Youth Engagement & Development Officer Julie Inskip are joined by Residential College students at the launch for the Vinnies Community Sleepout.