On 30 June, Georges River Life Care, in partnership with Georges River Life Church, held their ninth annual Sleeping Rough. Sleeping Rough invites the community to experience what it truly means to “sleep rough” by spending the night in a local carpark in Southwest Sydney.
“Homelessness in our community doesn’t necessarily look like homelessness in the city,” says Karen, Operations Manager for Life Care and coordinator of the Sleeping Rough fundraiser, “very often it’s families sleeping in cars, couch surfing etc. and it can go under the radar”.
The event kicked off with a fundraising dinner open to corporate partners and donors, to hear from speakers, participate in live auctions, and enjoy some light entertainment. The night raised funds for the services Georges River Life Care provide to support victims of family violence in their local community, including a free legal clinic and a case management service. With more than half of Life Care’s case management referrals being family violence related, and 80% of their legal clients experiencing family violence-related issues, this is a constantly needed area of support.
“The scourge of domestic violence is potentially one of the biggest issues we face as a nation as we go forward into the 21st century,” says Andrew Scipione, Chairman of Life Care, “we need to come together to overcome this problem. We all have a part to play in making things right.”
Life Care has been going for seventeen years as a local community, not-for-profit charity. Life Care aims to meet the needs of the local community in three main areas, family violence support, emergency relief and Artslife (a positive creative arts program aimed at vulnerable/disadvantaged children, families, and adults with disabilities). Beyond this, Life Care aims to build genuine relationships with those it helps and bring about real transformations in people’s situations, ultimately pointing them to Jesus and his love for them.
“We want them to see the love of Jesus through what we’re doing,” says Karen, “as ultimately he’s the one who transforms hearts”.
Amy, a local lady with no money to support herself and no sense of purpose in anything she did, has started accessing the Life Care services. Amy reflects, “if it wasn’t for [Life Care] I would have ended my life”.
The Sleeping Rough fundraiser has been run by Life Care with the support of the church congregation for many years now, but this year they decided to expand their audience to reach more people outside of the church community, raising awareness of family violence. Doubling in size from last year, they had over 70 sleepers and raised $60,000 for Life Care.
Pray for Life Care and the support they provide to vulnerable people in the Peakhurst area.
To find out more about their services visit grlc.org.au/life-care/.