Community leaders brave the cold for a charitable sleepout

Mayor Paul Antonio prepares to brave the cold for the Vinnies Community Sleepout at Gold Park.
Mayor Paul Antonio prepares to brave the cold for the Vinnies Community Sleepout at Gold Park. Bev Lacey

IF your toes and fingers were a bit cold this morning, spare a thought for 110 Toowoomba people who will be sleeping on a cold and frosty Gold Park sporting field on Thursday night.

They will have nothing but a pillow, sleeping bag, beanie and piece of cardboard to keep them warm.

The brave "campers" are part of the Vinnies Community Sleepout designed to give people an insight into what it is like to be homeless.

Toowoomba is a very generous community, a community that cares about its people

So far, the participants have raised $111,105, well over the target of $100,000.

Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio said it was unfortunate that some people were forced to live in circumstances beyond their control .

"Toowoomba is a very generous community, a community that cares about its people," Councillor Antonio said. "I think it's good we reinforce that there is an issue."

Mayor Paul Antonio and St Vincent de Paul volunteer John Olive prepare for a cold night out to raise money and awareness for the homeless.
Mayor Paul Antonio and St Vincent de Paul volunteer John Olive prepare for a cold night out to raise money and awareness for the homeless. Bev Lacey

In Australia, an estimated 105,000 people are homeless each night of the year with a quarter of them being under 18.

Cr Antonio, who will be participating, said he only hoped it was not too cold and that nobody snored.

Registrations for the sleepout have closed but donations are still welcome. Donations can be made at http://www.communitysleepout.org.au with all proceeds going to St Vincent De Paul Society's homeless services.



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