According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of homeless people in Australia has gone up by five per cent in just five years. In Sydney, it is up by close to 70 per cent in the same period.

The Vinnies CEO Sleep-out took place last night to raise vital funds and awareness, and the Rapid Relief Team (RRT) were on the ground providing support in five states.

Volunteers in Sydney, Newcastle, Perth, Brisbane, Launceston, and Melbourne, provided barista coffees and teas on Thursday night and delicious hot breakfasts this morning.

Last year, CEO Sleepout participants raised $5.6 million. This year, donations have continued to flood in and already more than $6.2 million has been raised.

An initiative of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, RRT is staffed by Church volunteers who provide catering services during a range of emergencies and charitable events.

Lloyd Grimshaw from the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, said RRT supported the Sleepout last year and jumped at the chance to contribute again this year, this time in more locations.

“Combatting homelessness is a major priority, so we were very pleased to get behind the CEO Sleepout in Sydney, lending a hand, a hot cup of tea and meal,”  Mr Grimshaw said.

“The CEO Sleepout is a chance for the privileged to walk in the shoes of the poor, and for everyone to work to bring about positive change, all of which fits in with our Christian ethos.

“It was a big night and morning. Across the country we made hundreds of coffees and teas and many more breakfasts, on one of the coldest days so far this year.

“The RRT believes everyone deserves a safe place to call home, so we are proud to continue to support this great cause and help break the cycle of homelessness.”

The Vinnies CEO Sleepout brings together business, community and government leaders who sleep without shelters on one of the longest and coldest nights of the year.

Each participant commits to raising thousands of dollars towards breaking the poverty cycle.

Every day in some small way, RRT volunteers offer a helping hand to those in need. For more information about the Rapid Relief Team, go to