THE REALITIES of hardship are fast becoming an easier concept to grasp, with living expenses and housing unaffordability in the current climate, a growing issue in Orange.
Sadly, braving the cold and being forced out onto the street has, in fact, been the harsh reality for soe of the city's residents - which is why Orange will be one of 11 other cities across the state to host a NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout on August 19.
"Every day our members are meeting with people who are under enormous pressure to try and get by with the necessities of life," CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, Jack de Groot said.
"Housing prices and rents are pricing people out of the communities they've grown up in and there simply isn't enough social housing available to meet the demand."
Raising funds for those experiencing homelessness and hardship, you'll have to go without any creature comforts on the night - that means, no cheating with hot water bottles, blow-up mattresses or luxury blankets.
But, you're welcome to bring a small sleeping bag, a bottle of water and a simple dinner, like a thermos of hot soup and a ration of bread.
After braving the cold from 6pm until daybreak, the money that you or your team raise from the night, will remain in the city to support the Orange Vinnies Van.
It's run by volunteers, with the meals on wheels service doing fortnightly rounds of the community to provide sandwiches, snacks and drinks to people currently living on the streets of Orange.
August's Friday night charity drive will be held at 10 Elwin Drive and is also targeted at raising education and empathy amidst Orange residents.
Participants can gain some insight into what it really feels like to take to the streets in winter, sleeping out without warmth or a place to truly call home.
"St Vincent de Paul Society members do incredible work every day to assist people in their times of need across the state," Vinnies' state president, Paul Burton said.
"[And] my hope is that by holding an event like the NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout, we can make people understand that the pressures we're calling attention to aren't abstract concepts, but realities that are happening right here and now."
"People shouldn't have to struggle over [asking the] basics like 'do I have enough to eat?' or 'will I be able to keep a roof over my head?'," Mr de Groot said.
"But sadly, that is becoming an all too familiar story that is pushing people into homelessness."
You can register online for the Orange sleepout either as an individual or as a team - whether that's with your local sports club, business or a community group.
Choosing to donate to the cause or sponsor any person or group is also an option, with the city's fundraising goal set at $10,000 for this year's 2022 event.
Bathurst and Dubbo will also host NSW Vinnies Community Sleepouts, along with Albury, Armidale, Central Coast, Hunter, Southern Highlands, Tamworth, Tweed Heads, Wagga Wagga and Western Sydney.
For more information, head to the Vinnies Community Sleepout website.
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