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Albany Community Foundation sleep out an opportunity to raise funds in fight against homelessness

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
Albany Agricultural Society's Gary Wilson ACF's Stacey Murnane, Tae Wood, Kristine Lusuegro and Amali Nizam-Wood.
Camera IconAlbany Agricultural Society's Gary Wilson ACF's Stacey Murnane, Tae Wood, Kristine Lusuegro and Amali Nizam-Wood. Credit: Laurie Benson

Participants at Albany’s Big Sleep Out next week are hoping to raise $57,000 to combat the rising prevalence of homelessness in the community.

Each year, the sleep out is a chance for Albany Community Foundation to shine a light on the growing issue which it has formally identified as its number one priority.

ACF chair Tae Wood urged the community to come out in support of the event.

“This year, more than any, the cost-of-living crisis is biting the community and is very prevalent,” he said.

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“I think it’s incumbent on the community to recognise that and get behind a good cause.”

Taking part for the sixth year in a row will be 10-year-old Amali Nizam-Wood.

She has committed to having her head shaved on the night of the sleep out if she reaches her target of raising $10,000.

She said was a little bit nervous about having her hair shaved off but it would be for a good cause.

Every cent raised at this year’s event will be poured into ACF’s Housing Crisis Response Fund, which was established in late 2022.

Last year, the sleep out raised about $44,000, but this year’s target has been set by students from Great Southern Grammar who have come on board to help as part of their business studies class.

“We’ve been working really closely with them and they set that goal,” ACF event coordinator Stacey Murnane said.

“Their theory was that $50,000 would be too much of a round number so they wanted to set something higher, and if we can push it even further passed that to $60,000 it would be amazing.”

As part of the event, Pivot Support Services will be hosting a “couch conversation” where it will explain what homelessness looks like to the agency.

Other support agencies will also be in attendance providing information about what they do.

Mr Wood said people did not have to commit to sleeping out to be involved.

“There will be food and entertainment on the night,” he said.

“For the cost of a donation on the night people can come and pretty much eat free, listen to live music and learn a bit more about the service agencies trying to combat homelessness in Albany.”

The sleep out will take place at the Albany Agricultural Society from 4.30pm on August 26 through to the following morning when breakfast will be provided from the Breakfast in the Park program.

To get involved in the sleep out or make a donation visit the ACF website -https://bit.ly/3Oz5a4n.

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