HOMELESSNESS was on Ballarat’s agenda on Friday night, when business leaders and school kids gave up their beds and united to sleep out.
Now in its second year, the Nevett Ford Lawyers Inn Their Shoes Sleepout attracted more than 100 people to spend the night at the the Ballarat Mining Exchange.
The event raised about $17,000 for UnitingCare’s BreezeWay meals program, $6500 of which was raised by school children.
UnitingCare manager of welfare and support services Maree Drennan addressed the business leaders, while children took part in activities about housing problems.
“Homelessness can affect anyone, it’s not always developing from alcohol or gambling problems, but could evolve from family violence,” she said.
“If we don’t have enough homes for emergency situations, transitional houses or rentals, it can be really difficult to find homes.”
St Thomas More Primary School pupil Katelyn Thomas raised more than $550 — the highest amount among the school children.
Katelyn said she had raised the money through visiting businesses and asking family and friends.
This wasn’t the first time Katelyn has helped the homeless. Previously she initiated an event to raise money for the Soup Bus in Ballarat.