Rough it 4 Rockingham: Local community helps raise $25k towards Salvation Army efforts

Telissa RyderSound Telegraph
The event saw 42 participants sleep rough to help raise funds for locals struggling with homelessness.
Camera IconThe event saw 42 participants sleep rough to help raise funds for locals struggling with homelessness. Credit: supplied

Rockingham locals struggling with homelessness will soon get a helping hand, with Rough it 4 Rockingham raising $25,000 to go towards the Salvation Army.

Held on October 8 with World Homelessness Day held on October 10, the grassroots event saw 42 participants sleep rough for one night within the City of Rockingham.

Inspired by the Vinnies CEO Sleepout in 2020, deputy mayor Hayley Edwards said Rough it 4 Rockingham evolved after a meeting with the Salvation Army’s Darrell Wilson.

“I was overwhelmed by the services they extended to our community and how they are seeing an increase in demand for services by our community,” she said.

“It was really important to us that the money we raised would be spent on the ground, giving practical solutions like swags, sleeping bags and torches to members of community sleeping rough.

“As The Salvation Army are local service providers, it made sense to raise funds and assist them in supporting our community, building capacity to our most vulnerable community members.”

Several local businesses jumped on board to support the cause and donate, including Shelford Constructions, Bendigo Community Bank, Lovell’s Jewellers, Port Kennedy IGA and Rockingham Dental.

City of Rockingham mayor Deb Hamblin also attended the event, along with Cr Brett Wormall, Cr Sally Davies, and Cr Rob Schmidt.

Mr Wilson said the funds raised would help provide short-term practical needs to those who needed it the most.

“Our Centre of Hope has become a significant connection point for many people in our community who face crisis,” he said.

“Through our centre, and our work with partner agencies, we get to journey closely with people experiencing homelessness and to understand how we can respond to their practical needs, which is where these funds will make a difference.”

After a successful weekend, Ms Edwards said she hoped the event would become an annual fixture within the local community.

“This event was a true demonstration of locals supporting locals and looking after our own backyard,” she said.

“Hopefully we will align with next year’s World Homeless Day 2023.”

To find out more about Rough it 4 Rockingham or to donate, head to their official website.

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