HOMELESSNESS can happen to anyone, says The Spiers Centre chief executive Helena Jakupovic.
That is why she is foregoing her warm bed to sleep outside with other Perth businesspeople as part of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout on June 23.
Mrs Jakupovic said many people who were homeless, or close to it, sought services from the Heathridge centre.
She said there was a common misconception in society that homelessness always involved alcohol or drug addiction.
“But they could be fleeing a domestic violence situation or a relationship breakdown and people feel they have no choice,” she said.
“I’ve had people stay with me… they are lucky they have someone who can help them out, but not everyone has that.”
Mrs Jakupovic aims to raise at least $5000 for the St Vincent de Paul Society to offer emergency assistance and support services.
“The work they do is phenomenally important in terms of helping people in need,” she said.
“It just brings hope to people’s lives and I think that’s something everyone needs.”
Instead of hoping for mild weather on the night, Mrs Jakupovic would welcome rain and cold temperatures so she could fully appreciate what others experience.
“I think it will be a reflective time for me,” she said.
“I’ll be thinking about how lucky I am and how unlucky some others are.”
The Spiers Centre is also running its annual homeless appeal to provide essentials such as toiletries, warm clothing and blankets.
Woodvale’s Aim Dental and ASB Marketing have assisted in creating two packs, but donations are always appreciated.
To support Mrs Jaku-povic in the Sleepout, visit tinyurl.com/hhqnapd.