Hills Homeless Sleepout

Next month’s Hills Winter Homeless Sleepout will be pressing ahead on August 14 but it won’t be camping out it will be hosted online by community radio station Alive 90,5

Last year COVID restrictions forced changes to the annual event which moved from Bella Vista Farm into people’s homes, cars and backyards to highlight the plight of the homeless and those at risk of homelessness.

Mici Beer, Executive Officer at Hills Community Aid said: “The biggest message we want people to know is that The Hills Winter Sleepout is still on and we need people’s support this year more than ever.

“There has been an unprecedented demand for our financial support services over the past 17 months and with continued lockdowns and less financial support offered by the Government we do not see this easing any time soon.”

Money raised by The Hills Winter Sleepout goes to the Hills Homeless Prevention Initiative run by Hills Community Aid which helps Hills Shire Council residents experiencing financial hardship (usually short term, due to change in family circumstances, illness, employment changes and family violence) with rent and Bond.

In the past three years, it has helped 92 adults and 98 children.

One of those helped was about to leave a women’s refuge for victims of domestic violence who was offered a place through Women’s Housing but had no access to any affordable credit to pay for the required rental bond.

“Thanks to the grant from the Hills Homeless Prevention Initiative she was able to move out from the refuge to safe accommodation,” said Mici Beer.

She said budgets were created to ensure rent was sustainable in the long term and clients were referred to a Financial Counsellor if relevant (as well as other organisations), which further assisted with their financial resilience.

Since mid-2018 The Hills Homeless Prevention Initiative has provided: $59,375 in total grants – ($1000 per grant)

Homeless Hills Shire Mayor, Michelle Byrne, who established the Hills Winter sleepout eight years ago, said: “A lot of people in our community are in need and if we don’t see it we don’t realise that it exists. “The fact is that it is here.”

Last year’s event was broadcast by Hills-based community radio station Alive 90.5 FM which it will be doing again this year.

“We are so grateful that Community Radio Station Alive 90.5 will broadcast a program on the Hills Winter Sleepout on Saturday August 14 from 6pm and will run a telethon so that people can donate during the evening wherever they are watching from, ” said Mici.

Join online on August 14 from your car, lounge, or yard. For information vist thehills-winter-sleepout-2021.raisely.com/

BREAKOUT: Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) which captured homelessness in the 2016 Census were examined by Amy Lawton, Social Research and Information Officer, with Western Sydney Regional Information and Research Service.

Her repor t, Estimating Homelessness in Greater Western Sydney, found that there were 14,147 homeless persons across the 13 local government areas in Greater Western Sydney in 2016 (including Hawkesbury and The Hills LGAs) an increase of 57.8% since 2011

•• Baulkham Hills 209 (up 61.6 percent from 2011)
•• Castle Hill 56
•• Dural/Kenthurst 44
•• Glenwood 36 (up 71 percent)
•• Hawkesbury 80
•• Kellyville 42
•• Richmond-Windsor 187
•• Riverstone – Marsden Park 55
•• Rouse Hill – McGrath’s Hill 19
•• Quakers Hill 41

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