The Rapid Relief Team has leant a helping hand as business leaders around the country swapped their suits for sleeping bags at the annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout.

Business leaders from across a range of organisations, government and community groups were handed a sheet of cardboard, a beanie and a cup of soup before having to find somewhere to hunker down for the cold winter’s night.

And while they might have spent the time shivering more than they did sleeping, it was all for a good cause, with the aim of the event to raise both awareness on the issue of homelessness and the funds to combat it.

The Rapid Relief Team supported at the St Vincent de Paul events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide and this year beat the set goal to raise more than $9 million to help break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

The Rapid Relief Team was on hand in the morning, serving up breakfast and coffee to the participants, who acknowledged the warm relief after a night on the streets was a privilege many homeless people didn’t have.

The latest data estimates there are more than 116,000 Australians experiencing homelessness on any given night, with fears current cost of living pressures will see that number rise.

The Rapid Relief Team is committed to bridging the gap for people in need, particularly during the coldest nights of the year.

The funds raised through the Vinnies CEO Sleepout are used to provide food, pay essential bills, allow people to stay in their homes, keep their kids clothed and at school.

Donations to the Vinnies CEO Sleepout can be made until the end of July 2022 at