AllCommunity NewsMichelle Byrnenewsletter

The Hills Winter Sleep Out 2024

Out and About

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The Hills Winter Sleep Out, now in its 11th year, is set to return to Bella Vista Farm on 17 August 2024.

This well loved and memorable event has seen hundreds of residents take up the challenge of becoming “homeless” for the night, raised over $350,000 for local charities and has helped hundreds of vulnerable locals who are facing homelessness for real.

In 2022/2023 Hills Community Aid (HCA), the primary beneficiary of the funds raised from the Hills Winter Sleep Out reported a 23% increase in calls/emails asking for assistance with 6558 individuals reaching out for help.

For 54% of clients, it was their first time visiting HCA indicating that more and more of our community who could once “weather the storm” and cope with an increase in living costs are no longer able to. Sadly, in 2023 the number of clients affected by domestic and family violence increased by 93% with 323 individuals plus their children asking for help.

The Hills Winter Sleep Out funds HCA’s Hills Homeless Prevention Initiative that aims to give those facing homelessness or at risk of homelessness a hand up by helping with rent/bond, food vouchers for food and other essential items such as clothes and linen.

Over the past year funds from the 2023 Hills Winter Sleep Out has helped over 100 individuals plus their families. Fiona* is one example. Fiona receives an aged pension and works part time. In 2022, she moved in with her adult son to support him following his divorce.

However, Fiona soon found herself a victim of family violence with her son becoming increasingly abusive and forcing her to use her money to purchase cigarettes and alcohol for him. Fiona came to HCA looking for assistance. Through the Hills Winter Sleep Out, HCA was able to assist Fiona with bond on a new rental and with removal costs so she could move homes and enjoy a fresh start away from abuse.

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Grace* is a 59 year old Grandmother looking after her daughter’s 5 children who are 10, 7, 5, 4 and 4 months. Sadly, Grace’s daughter and mother of the 5 children died during childbirth. Grace was struggling with her rent plus providing clothes, nappies and food for the children. Through the Hills winter Sleep Out, HCA was able to assist Grace with rent and food vouchers.

Mick* is experiencing homelessness following a relationship breakdown. He has been living in his car which has a cracked windscreen. The Police were going to defect his car for the cracked windscreen which would have left him with no shelter or anywhere to sleep. However, with funds from The Hills Winter Sleepout HCA were able to pay for the windscreen to be repaired and provide vouchers for food and other essential items.

Without the Hills Winter Sleep out locals like Fiona, Grace and Mick would not get the assistance they need to help them through some of their darkest days. I encourage you to get involved in this year’s Sleep Out and help us help those most in need in the Hills.

To register for this year’s Hills Winter Sleep Out or to donate go to All donations are Tax Deductible and will go directly to HCA and other local charities that work with those of risk of homelessness in the Hills.

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