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17 June, 2021

Kenfrost Homes digs deep for homelessness

CEOs around Australia are encouraged to swap the boardroom for a cold night outdoors, all in aid of the 2021 Vinnies CEO Sleepout.

By Peter McCullagh

David Monaghan, Executive Officer for Vinnies with Veronica Innes, FNQ President of Vinnies accepting the generous donation of $52,000 from Alex Loughton on behalf of Kenfrost Homes. PHOTO: Peter McCullagh

Cairns’ businessman and owner of Kenfrost Homes, John Richardson has thrown considerable weight behind this years’ appeal with a massive $52,000 donation to assist the Vinnies work with the homeless in Australia.

When Mr Richardson first considered supporting the CEO Sleepout, he wanted to make a real difference. His initial generous offer of $26,000 was quickly revised and doubled. This donation will help provides bed nights, food and personalised programs to help the homeless in the north.

Homelessness is a growing issue not just here in north Queensland but Australia-wide with Vinnies being called upon to help an escalating number of families and individuals struggling in these tight economic times.

St Vincent de Paul are reporting a tightening rental market in Far North Queensland, with a vacancy rate of just 0.3% last month.

The Society of St Vincent de Paul’s Far North Queensland President Veronica Innes is seeing firsthand the effect this rental crisis is having upon families.

“People are struggling to afford the current rental prices, and combined with a lack of low-cost affordable housing, we have a real issue.

“We are now being called upon to help many people who previously were the ones helping others, now they need the assistance.

“We do need more affordable housing, currently some households are spending up to 50 percent of their household income on rent. We are being asked to assist people with rent, food, utility bills or medication costs, financially people are struggling,” Ms Innes said.

Alex Loughton, from with Kenfrost Homes is only too willing to spend a night under the stars in our ‘bitter’ FNQ winter.

“I know one night is not a lot, but this will make a real difference here with the homeless.

“In Cairns every night over 4000 people are homeless, and this number is growing.

“It should not be that way. We urge the readers of Cairns Local News to dig deep and donate.

“Homelessness takes many forms that’s not just sleeping on the street in the city. They could be spending time living in a tent in a caravan park, sleeping in their cars, or couch surfing. That’s why St Vinnies have encouraged support in Regional Queensland by sleeping out on the couch, in your car, or sleeping under the stars in your backyard like I am doing.”

“The money will go towards many different aspects of homelessness including supply of necessity items, rent relief, other payments that struggling families cannot meet like unexpected car bills, and the money will be spent in the Cairns Region.”

“We hope this donation will inspire other businesses to also think about supporting our campaign behind our CEO John and Kenfrost Homes in the CEO Sleepout appeal and we can show the rest of Queensland that Cairns is the most generous city in the whole of the state.”

“Dennis has assured us that although the sleepout initiative is Queensland wide that the money for our campaign will remain in Cairns, which is an even greater reason for businesses to jump on board.”

“Google CEO Sleepout. Find the Kenfrost Homes page and donate. Your donation will make a real difference. Together let’s make a difference,” Mr Loughton said.

It is possible to break the devastating cycle of homelessness. With a tight property and rental market here in Cairns, along with the crippling economic effects of COVID on many of our residents, the CEO Sleepout can and will make a real difference this year.


 


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