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EPIC Assist’s CEO puts homelessness on the agenda

This June, 290 CEOs from organisations across Australia will be sleeping under the stars to raise awareness and vital funds for the many Australians who experience homelessness.

The annual St Vincent de Paul’s CEO Sleep Out brings together the minds of the nation’s business and community leaders to raise awareness for the 100,000 Australians who will be experiencing hardship this winter.

EPIC Assist CEO Bill Gamack, will be among those sleeping rough for the night. In 2016 Bill was able to raise close to $3,000. This year he is setting his sights a little higher, and is hoping to raise $5,000 for the cause. As an organisation who helps people with disability and disadvantage find and maintain meaningful employment, the cause is one close to Mr Gamack’s heart.

“I am proud to be a part of the Vinnies CEO sleep out for a second year. I believe that lending a hand to others is about more than just handing over a cheque. It’s about demonstrating kindness, giving your time, and experiencing what too many Australians face every night of the year.”

On any given night in Australia 1 in 200 people will be sleeping rough. Of those experiencing hardship, close to 18,000 are children under the age of 10.

“For many people, homelessness can become a vicious cycle. On an individual level it can make it difficult to maintain school or further study, leaving people vulnerable to long-term unemployment and serious health conditions,” said Bill.

The CEO Sleep Out will not be the first time EPIC have helped their friends on the street. Early in 2017 a partnership between EPIC Assist and Orange Sky Laundry was established to provide casual employment opportunities for those on the street, a number of which have disabilities or particular support requirements. EPIC also provided Orange Sky Laundry with a number of hygiene packs to be distributed to their friends on the street.

“It was great to join with another not-for-profit who is similarly passionate to us. I think Orange Sky adopts the ‘hand up, not hand out’ philosophy, and that’s what we’re about here at EPIC too.”

Bill is looking forward to contributing to the fundraising efforts of the CEO sleep out this year after seeing the lasting impact past events have had over the years.

With funds raised from last year’s CEO Sleep Out Vinnies were able to provide; assistance to 1,949,673 people, 1,590,554 meals and 689,819 bed nights.

“The work that Vinnies do in our community is commendable. As CEOs we have so much and need for so little. I think it’s important that we take every opportunity to really appreciate this and give back to help others who are less fortunate,” said Bill.

If you would like to contribute to raising vital funds to combat homelessness, you can make a donation by following this link: http://bit.ly/2ntzmSF