It’s been 4 years since the inception of SleepSafe and although it’s growth and reach has expanded since, the belief in and commitment to providing practical support, care, and dignity to those in crisis has not. At it’s heart, SleepSafe helps Australian’s facing homelessness and hardship to feel worthy, safe, and cared for. Having distributed over 108,000 kits (and counting) we reflect on what it means to have a safe night sleep, and how sleep kits help bring comfort to those in crisis.
As Australia grapples with the deepening and costly homelessness crisis, leaders are advocating for an uptake of more creative and innovative approaches like ‘meanwhile use’ and ‘change of use’ projects. StreetSmart have funded ‘meanwhile use’ projects before and have recently collaborated with grant recipient Bridge It, in Melbourne, to fund another much-needed innovation to reduce youth homelessness.
We are incredibly excited to have just wrapped up our latest SleepSafe distribution, bringing the total number of distributed kits to over 100,000! That is over 100,000 moments of care, dignity and comfort provided to people in crisis and facing hardship. Without the generosity of Sheridan customers and the day in and day out advocacy of their staff for our SleepSafe collaboration, this impact would not have been possible.
For too many people food and groceries are an optional extra. As the cost-of-living crisis deepens, more and more people are skipping meals to pay their rent, power and other bills. Many are turning to local charities for food relief, for the first time in their lives, and local food banks are struggling to keep up with demand, often running out of basic staple items. That’s why we have just boosted funding to 10 food relief programs, distributing a total of $80,000 so that people in acute hardship can be supported. We are continuing this support and are calling on you, our network, to join us and give what you can, or share with your networks.
It’s been a special year for our annual DineSmart campaign which celebrated two decades of collaborative impact with the hospitality industry. Last month we held a 20th Anniversary Fundraising Dinner to recognise this incredible milestone and scale up the impact of the fundraising throughout DineSmart December. The event was a roaring success and has brought this year’s DineSmart tally to $176,723 in funds for employment, training and education programs for vulnerable people.
We know that young people are disproportionately impacted by the current housing crisis and face multiple barriers to securing any kind of accommodation. The result is rising youth homelessness. Currently there is no national strategy or adequate funding to address this situation for thousands of our young people. That’s why in April we raised funds to support three youth services in regional centres.