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Sleep Out reaches new heights

THE Salvos Sleep Out for 2021 has reached new heights with three participants having spent the night sleeping suspended from the side of the Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart to raise attention and support for Tasmanians experiencing homelessness.

The annual Salvos Sleep Out had a fundraising goal of $60,000, which they have exceeded, and will help people experiencing homelessness by keeping Hobart’s Street 2 Home Outreach Program running for another year.

“It’s a critical fundraiser because it helps us keep assertive outreach workers in the street and in the parks of Hobart, helping people connect to services while they’re experiencing homelessness,” The Salvation Army Hobart public relations officer Brad Watson said.

“Quite often people are disconnected from the supports they need, and in our current housing climate where so many people are homeless, it’s just that support that enables them to build a relationship, feel secure and safe, and then get to the services that are going to help them secure long-term housing.”

In its 11th year, the Sleep Out was held on 12 August at the Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart with additional event hubs in Glenorchy and Kingston.

Last year, Spidertech managing director Haig Rice slept suspended off the side of the Grand Chancellor.

This year, three people had the opportunity to spend the night on a lightweight platform suspended from level 12.

“People slept in a harness, and they had a safety line attached to them at all times so there was no possibility of them falling to the ground,” Mr Rice said.

“I slept in one last year and it’s a long night, you certainly feel like you’re out in the atmosphere.”

Long term event supporter, Woolworths Shared Financial Services, locked in one of the suspended spots and was represented by finance and services manager Rob Fellowes.

“It is certainly a cause we’re really passionate about here in Tassie given the conditions, it’s a tough environment to be homeless and it’s a complex issue that we hopefully can play a small role in improving,” Mr Fellowes said.

“It’s about the conversations, it’s about the networking, it’s about building awareness, and the more awareness, the more conversations we’re having to support the cause.”

For more information, visit https://salvossleepout.salvationarmy.org.au/ or https://www.grandchancellorhotels.com/hotel-grand-chancellor-hobart.