A group of Toowoomba Hospital social workers will sleep rough as part of the 2017 Vinnies Sleepout on July 27 to raise funds and awareness for the homeless.
The Toowoomba Hospital social workers including Eva Coll, Jan Pemberton and Clare Haynes decided to take part in the sleepout – which will involve sleeping outdoors for one night – because they have had a strong connection to homelessness as part of their work.
“It’s very common in the Mental Health area where I work to encounter issues around homelessness,” Ms Haynes said.
“There is a critical shortage of affordable crisis accommodation, especially for single men and women.”
Ms Coll said one of the biggest issues homeless people face while sleeping rough was concerns for their safety.
Ms Pemberton said the team decided to take part in the sleepout and experience what it was like to sleep outside in the cold Toowoomba winter as a way to raise funds and give back to the community.
Ms Haynes said the social workers chose the team name ‘No Loose Ends–DDHHS–SW’ to highlight that in their work for the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service they take a holistic approach to recovery, leaving no loose ends in their work with clients and their families.
“We each have the goal of raising $500 for this cause and would welcome any donation and we will be doing some fundraising activities within the hospital too,” she said.
The Vinnies Community Sleepout will raise awareness about the 105,000 people in Australia who find themselves homeless each night of the year and will take place in Toowoomba on Thursday 27 July at Gold Park.
To make a donation go to www.communitysleepout.org.au/locations/toowoomba/
Image: Toowoomba Hospital social workers Jan Pemberton, Eva Coll and Clare Haynes are getting ready to swap their work gear for extra layers when they take part in the Vinnies sleepout later this month