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Students and staff to provide a ‘hand up’ to help the homeless

By Meagan Kupke

UniSA students participating in the 2018 UniSA Community Sleepout in Hoj Plaza, City West campus. Adelaide’s overnight temperature has been as low as 2.5C this month. UniSA students participating in the 2018 UniSA Community Sleepout in Hoj Plaza, City West campus. Adelaide’s overnight temperature has been as low as 2.5C this month.

More than 116,000 Australians sleep rough each night of the year – and UniSA students and staff are joining forces to support them.

UniSA students participating in the 2018 UniSA Community Sleepout in Hoj Plaza, City West campus.

Every year since 2015, a group of students and staff have swapped their warm beds for a piece of cardboard and spent a night “sleeping rough” while raising funds for homelessness not-for-profit St Vincent de Paul Society SA (Vinnies).

The event is the UniSA Community Sleepout. UniSA will have raised $20,000 in financial donations by the time it hosts its fifth Community Sleepout at the end of this month (August).

The number of people experiencing homelessness in South Australia is increasing every year, so UniSA’s support in 2019 is more important than ever. Funds raised this year alone have already exceeded $3200.

UniSA Student Life Coordinator Chris Crabbe, who has been working on the Community Sleepout for four of its five years, has ambitious goals for this year’s event.

“Our target is to hit the triple digits and have 100 participants for the first time ever,” he says. “UniSA is proud to continue donating all proceeds directly to Vinnies SA.”

UniSA students participating in the 2018 UniSA Community Sleepout in Hoj Plaza, City West campus.

With a previous record of 75 participants, the numbers for 2019 are looking strong – registrations for 2019 are close to 90.

Students and staff, especially those based on UniSA’s city campuses, are in a position to see homelessness in their day-to-day lives.

“Education and understanding around what homelessness really means is a priority in hosting the fundraiser in the format that it is,” Crabbe says.

The 2019 UniSA Community Sleepout will be held on the night of Friday 30 August at UniSA Magill campus. You can learn more and register to participate at unisa.edu.au/communitysleepout.

Donations, anonymous and tax refundable, can be made at unisaso19.gofundraise.com.au.

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