One of the biggest real estate agencies in Australia is raising money for homelessness, bringing in more than $20,000 for the cause.
Raine & Horne Newtown has raised about $22,000 (and growing) for the Newtopian Sleepout in Sydney, an initiative of the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre.
All funds raised from the sleepout will go directly to Newtown Neighbourhood Centre.
In addition to the fundraising, 22 members of the agency will be involved in the sleepout on 6 August, sleeping rough for a night to raise awareness about homelessness in Sydney’s Inner West.
“We will be sleeping on cardboard for a night outside the Hub, near the Newtown railway station, to gain perspective and a more in-depth insight and appreciation for what would be a typical night for homeless members of our community,” Raine & Horne Newtown director Gerard Hill said.
“Our team is delighted to be able to support Newtown Neighbourhood Centre which brings about social change for the homeless, or people at risk of being homeless, and shines a spotlight on the increasing need for affordable housing.”
According to Mr Hill, with about 638 people sleeping rough in Sydney’s inner city, the agency decided to embark on this initiative to fight this spreading problem by raising funds as a contribution to a significant community awareness event.
“The number of vulnerable people throughout the Inner West grows year by year, with many not knowing what their housing options could be,” Mr Hill said.
“By joining the Newtopian Sleepout, we are aiming to raise awareness about this issue and funds for the Newtown Neighborhood Centre, which provides access to housing and a range of other support services through its One Stop Shop and Information and Referral Service.
“What we find very troubling is that homelessness is getting worse and worse, especially in our region, with domestic and family violence, the housing crisis and financial difficulties significant causes of this growing scourge.”
Mr Hill added that one of the most alarming statistics is the fastest group to become homeless: women over the age of 55. He noted that the rate has risen by 31 per cent since 2011.
In addition to the sleepout initiative, Raine & Horne Newtown director Michael Harris has also just completed training with Newtown Neighbourhood Centre as an outreacher.
This allows Mr Harris to approach those who have found themselves homeless and assist them in creating awareness with regard to their housing options, where to get meals and where to find supports services.