Mayor sleeping out to aid poor

MAYOR Bilal El-Hayek (pictured) is challenging business CEOs and community leaders to help tackle homelessness with his second annual Lights Out Sleepout.

He will bunker down at Belmore Sports Ground on Thursday, July 18, 7pm-7am, to raise money for Mission Australia, Maronites on Mission and Brothers in Need.
According to the latest statistics, more than 120,000 Australians experience homelessness, while Canterbury Bankstown alone has experienced a 10 per cent jump in homelessness from 2021-2023.
Mayor El-Hayek said he wanted leaders to join him and experience what it was like to sleep rough on a cold winter’s night, or to dig deep and support the event by donating.
“I hope we can all come together to raise awareness and much needed funds for those at risk of, or experiencing homelessness,” he said.
“Thousands of men, women, young people and children are forced to ‘rough it out’ on the streets, ‘couch surf’, seek shelter in a car or rely on temporary and insecure accommodation.
“It’s a heartbreaking situation that I encourage each of us to consider when we return to our warm homes at night while others face harsh conditions out on the street.”
Last year’s inaugural sleepout raised more than $30,000 for vital services to help those in need across our City and Mayor El-Hayek aims to do the same again this sleepout.
“I know that our passionate community members and determined businesses can come together to repeat, or even better, last year’s amount,” he said.