MYAREE businessman Matt Bennetto will reflect on his own humble upbringing when he sleeps out in the elements on June 23.
He hopes to raise $5000 for homeless services run by Vinnies by taking part in the CEO Sleepout at the WACA.
As a boy, Matt’s family relied on government housing.
His mother was quite ill with type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and bipolar disorder.
He said some people were forced into homelessness.
“It’s important to remember that we all have a story in life and sometimes we do not get to choose the path we really want to be on,” he said
“My mother didn’t choose that life but due to unfortunate circumstances it was presented to her; same as other families that may suffer from depression, family violence, financial or job difficulty they are forced into something that is out of their control.”
Mr Bennetto, now chief executive of Regal Engineering and Line Boring, expects the sleepout to be a unique experience as he leaves the comfort and warmth of his Bicton home for a night.
“Vinnie’s do a great job and I wish them all the success possible for this cause,” he said.
The fundraiser enables the Society’s homeless services to continue.
Homelessness among women is a key focus for the event this year.
“There are over 105,000 people experiencing homelessness in Australia and women and girls make up 59 per cent of that demographic,” St Vincent de Paul Society chief executive Mark Fitzpatrick said.
“The issue of female homelessness is intrinsically linked to a lack of social and affordable housing as women cannot find alternative accommodation as they flee situations of domestic and family violence – the leading cause of female homelessness,” he said.
In the lead-up to the Federal election, he urged the government to ensure affordable housing and homelessness were key issues that need to be addressed.
To see the full list of CEO Sleepout participants or to register or donate, visit www. ceosleepout.org.au. To support Mr Bennetto’s fundraising goals of $5000, visit www.ceo sleepout.org.au/ceos/wa-ceos/matt-bennetto