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Don’t change clothes, change lives.
That is the challenge homelessness support organisation Orange Sky has issued Australians as it kicks off 2022 registrations for The Sudsy Challenge, its major annual fundraiser.
By wearing the same clothes for three consecutive days this September, Australians can raise awareness and money to help the charity provide more laundry services, more warm showers and more meaningful conversations for those doing it tough.
Now in its fourth year, The Sudsy Challenge aims to wash away the stigma surrounding homelessness, and offer meaningful support as a new study reveals homelessness is on the rise across the country.
The 2022 YouGov commissioned survey found one in five (21%) Aussies had experienced homelessness, slightly up from 2021’s study which revealed 20% had experienced homelessness.
The report also shed light on the impact of recent increases in the cost of living:
- Almost one in three (28%) feared losing their home due to financial struggles and one in four (25%) had to take on a secondary income to make ends meet.
- Of those who had previously experienced homelessness, six in 10 (59%) feared losing their home due to financial struggles and more than half (51%) took on a secondary income to get by.
- One in 10 (10%) say they struggled to make ends meet every day.
- Six in 10 (59%) experienced increased nervousness about their financial security in the past year.
- Almost half (49%) had to change their living circumstances due to rising costs.
Orange Sky Co-founder Nic Marchesi (OAM) said since 2014, Orange Sky has helped support the most vulnerable members of our community, with the The Sudsy Challenge providing an opportunity for everyday Aussies to step outside their comfort zone and help those doing it tough.
“Unfortunately, 2022 is already proving to be the toughest year many of us have faced,” he said.
“In the first six months of this year alone, we’ve seen everyday costs skyrocket, coupled with the ongoing pandemic and natural disasters (like flooding across Queensland and New South Wales), it has created the perfect storm for homelessness and forced more Aussies to live paycheck-to-paycheck, making the support provided by Orange Sky more important than ever.
“The Sudsy Challenge encourages Aussies to not change their clothes, so they can change lives. By keeping their kit on for three days straight, collecting donations from their friends and family and starting meaningful conversations with them about the rising issue of homelessness, you can help change lives.”
Last year, more than 2,535 individuals, schools and companies took on The Sudsy Challenge, raising over $481,000 for Orange Sky services across Australia.
Australians can participate in The Sudsy Challenge over any three consecutive days throughout September.
Learn more about The Sudsy Challenge and register at thesudsychallenge.com.au