Domestic violence victims make up 29% of Canberra's homeless
Canberra was shocked when on February 28th this year, we heard the news of the tragic death of Tara Costigan in Calwell, a victim of domestic violence by the hand of her ex-partner. With three children left behind, including the baby she had one week before her death, the story has touched the hearts of the capital.
Within the ACT, 29% of people experiencing homelessness are escaping family violence. 2000 people are homeless on Canberra's streets every night. This number is a shock to most of us, especially with the below zero temperatures Canberra faces in Winter. This number of homeless is the 2nd highest homelessness rate in all of Australia.
Now in its 3rd year, Canberra Community Sleepout wants to highlight this fact and raise money for helping the homeless in our city and provide a safe place to sleep, give warm clothes and get families and individuals back onto their feet. Communities@Work and the St Vincent de Paul Society of Canberra/Goulburn do this great work on a daily basis, and need some fundraising help.
The Sleepout, to be held at the AIS Track and Field Complex in Bruce, will begin with an address by Tara Costigan's Uncle, Michael Costigan, founder of the Tara Costigan Foundation.
The Canberra Community Sleepout is Canberra's only family-friendly sleep out event. During the night there will be live music, family activities, storytelling, interactive children's activities as well as information about homelessness and domestic violence. There will be dinner and breakfast for you to purchase (cash only) or you can take your own food. A Barista coffee van will be there for coffee lovers and all profits go to fundraising event.
The organisers encourage individuals, teams, families, friends and colleagues to attend the evening and rough it out for the night. Their website says that after the formalities and entertainment of the night are over "the lights are dimmed. Participants experience what it is like to sleep 'out' and wake up with a much deeper understanding of homelessness".
After you register ($35 individual/$50 family of four) you then set up a fundraising page for people to sponsor you to sleep out overnight for this cause.
This fundraising event will be a celebration of Canberra's charities and the community coming together to help, however the message participants will take away will be a life changing one.