How we raised awareness and $10,000 in 1 week to help break the cycle of homelessness
When reflecting on the past month there is so much I could write about. Having our best sales month in 2020, housing stimulus (see Celsius Finance article), the tightening rental market, Covid-19, escaping Perth’s winter to join the rest of Perth in the North West for the July school holidays… but what I’m most proud of is the fact that Celsius Property Group signed up to Vinnies CEO Sleepout and raised over $10,000 in just one week to support Vinnies homeless services.
When Vinnies wrote to all participants to advise that the traditional sleepout could not go ahead at the WACA as it usually would, Vinnies were hoping people would sleep on their couch or in their backyard, I was in two minds as to my participation. It seemed too easy to come up with 50 excuses as to why I wasn’t in a position to support this great cause this year. But then I realised that in years like this, companies such as Vinnies need all the support they can get due to limited funding, with all their shops closed for many weeks, compounded by a huge spike in demand from our most vulnerable.
Sleeping on my couch wasn’t going to cut it when it came to asking our loyal supporters to make a donation and I saw this as an opportunity to actually sleep rough, on the streets of Perth. So I visited our good friends Ev and Sarah Hewitt at General Public Co, Doric Street Scarborough to see whether I could sleep rough on the pavement outside their shop. As brave as I sound there was no way I was going to go it alone so my first recruitment drive was to secure the support of some body guards. A huge thanks to Matt Evans, Brenton Downing and Ev Hewitt who were more than happy to join me for the night. Our mission was to not only raise $10,000 but also to raise awareness amongst the broader community and setting up at the hugely popular General Public Co could certainly assist with that.
To the credit of the culture at General Public Co, when their staff found out what was happening 5 of them put their hand up to join us in sleeping out. At 10pm the last guests left the restaurant and we spent an hour watching a few Vinnies videos of homeless people telling their story and generally chatting about what it may mean to be homeless. At midnight, we were locked out of the shop and laying down on our pieces of cardboard and sleeping bags ready to hit the sack. In typical high street fashion the window cleaners turned up at 4:45am and got quite a shock to find us “homeless” scattered across the pavement. Come 6am the first coffees were being sold and further awareness raised. By 9:30am I was in the office ready for my day at work but to be honest, by 3pm a fog had descended over my head that rendered me completely useless for the rest of the day. At this point it really hit home to me how hard it must be for those people that find themselves trying to hold down a job whilst homeless or worse still, trying to get themselves up and about to attend job interviews.
Thanks to our loyal supporters, within one week, we had raised over $10,000. If you haven’t yet had a chance to donate but would like to, feel free to click on the link below:
Of course we appreciate not everyone is in a position to make a financial donation at this time however there are many ways you can offer support for homeless services and I am sure the homeless would greatly appreciate your support, even if it’s just a 2 minute chat when walking past someone on your way to lunch. Covid-19 has seen cash evaporate from the streets and that in itself has a direct impact on those trying to survive. Perhaps you could offer to buy someone a sandwich, a coffee or get some change and pass it their way.
Finally we really do hope that you and your family have been able to successfully weather the Covid-19 storm and that rays of sunshine are starting to appear. If there is anything we can assist you with please don’t hesitate to reach out to me anytime on 0411 144 230. In the meantime I’m looking forward to some time in the sun with family and friends up in sunny Exmouth.
All the very best,