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Hundreds of CEOs camped out in the cold. Help them help others.

The latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that 105,237 people in Australia are experiencing homelessness, with 60% of those under the age of 35. Perhaps surprising to many people is that 44% of these are women, 13% are under the age of 12.

When considering these figures it is also important to remember that behind each number is the story of a fellow Australian who has experienced the extreme isolation and desperation of homelessness.

A victim of domestic abuse since she was a teenager, Sara’s story starts in Iran.

With three young daughters, Sara lived through emotional and physical turmoil in a violent relationship with her then husband. Sara managed the impossible – she summoned the courage to leave. Fleeing to Australia with two of her daughters, she believed her life would change.

It’s no mean feat to escape an abusive relationship and even harder to move countries to do so. Even so, Sara enlisted the help of a man to help her migrate to Australia. When things turned sour, Sara found herself in violent relationship with the very man who’d helped her.  She became his slave, forced to cook, clean, care for his children, surrounded by constant drug use.

44% of all people experiencing homelessness in Australia are women. Image: iStock 

Despite having learnt English as a second language and having no work experience in Australia, once again Sara fled her relationship, taking her now teenage daughters with her. Like any mother, Sara didn’t want her daughters to continue to grow up in a violent, drug-fuelled environment.

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As soon as the abuse from her toxic relationship stopped, the emotional abuse from Sara’s daughters began. Influenced by their father in Iran, they told Sara she was a bad person, and that by leaving Iran, she had given her children a terrible life.

Despite their difficult circumstances, Sara's daughters entered university and eventually decided to take time off to visit their father back in Iran. In leaving their mother, Sara was left to pay rent and bills alone. She fell behind on payments and was evicted.

Sara was now homeless, age 55.

St Vincent de Paul sees cases like this every single day.  But they need your help.

On the 23rd of June over a thousand CEOs will be sleeping rough, to try to understand in a small way what many Australians experience each and every night.

Kylie Rogers, Mamamia's MD, is raising money for homelessness. Image: Supplied.  

Mamamia Women's Network's Managing Director, Kylie Rogers, will be taking part in this year's event. Kylie is raising money to help provide crucial assistance to people experiencing homelessness,  with the aim of breaking the cycle of homelessness permanently for as many people as possible. People like Sara.

So if you can spare a few dollars, donate here.

You could be changing someone's life.

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