Allan Takes Aim Blog

The new executive night out?

Posted on: 20 June 2009


So 200 business leaders “sleep out” for one night in Sydney to raise money for the homeless. It has been reported they raised $500,000, the equivalent of $2,500 each, but what hasn’t been reported is their personal contribution. It might seem a churlish to question to ask but whatever their contribution, was it personal or paid by the company they worked for?

 It was also reported that their night was uncomfortable but how uncomfortable can only be guessed at, considering they had sleeping bags and during the night would be sustained by soup, tea and coffee. One, also had his iPod and probably most of them had a mobile phone.

 The sleep out was arranged by “Vinnies” and one of the one night homeless was Dick Smith who said although the sleeepout wasn’t hard, the executives learned a tough lesson about life on the streets adding: “Bring us all down to one level and let us realise that if times aren’t good and that there are many people who do have to live out in the streets and I think it’s very important that we understand that.”

 Dick Smith is right but it seems to me that, rather than being camped in Luna Park as if on a one night scout camp, if the executives had not been allowed to shave for a week and then taken to various Sydney suburbs and left with no sleeping bag, money, food, mobile, radio or any other any means of contacting family or friends, they might get a better understanding of what it means to be homeless.

 As for being uncomfortable, the one night of being “homeless” was compensated more than adequately by favourable media publicity. It’s only a suggestion but perhaps the executives who took part and know now what it means to be “homeless” might consider giving a real homeless person a home for month and possibly a job that might help prevent their continuing homelessness.

For local news get The Chronicle

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