If you’ve walked past a rough sleeper huddled in a sleeping bag during this bitterly cold Sydney winter, you’ll have felt the real danger our vulnerable homeless community faces, without the safety and protection of shelter and warmth.
Sadly, many people that die on the streets are not recognised or commemorated, including our homeless youth. On Tuesday 21 June, the longest night of the year, a somber crowd gathered in the Sydney CBD to mark Homeless Memorial Day – a service to honour, celebrate and remember all the homeless people who have died on the streets and in the shelters of Sydney in the past 12 months.
Carers, family, friends, outreach workers, volunteers, health workers and community workers, as well as those who have experienced homelessness, attended the moving service, held outdoors at Cathedral Square.
The event was supported by the End Street Sleeping Collaboration, which has a shared goal of halving street sleeping by 2025. The Property Industry Foundation supports End Street Sleeping as a strategic collaborator, alongside major homeless service providers: Mission Australia, St Vincent de Paul Society, Salvation Army, Wesley, Neami and the NSW Government.
“On the longest and coldest night of the year we gathered to remember not only those who have lost their lives while experiencing homelessness, but also to acknowledge those still without a secure home and sleeping on the streets. This moving event brought into sharp focus the important and urgent work of End Street Sleeping Collaboration and all those who are working tirelessly to end street sleeping. Progress is being made, but we still have a lot to do. We encourage you to get involved and join the conversation.” – Kate Francis, Operations Manager End Street Sleeping Collaboration
For further information visit www.endstreetsleeping.org