$25,000 from Vinnies sleep out

THIS year's St Vincent de Paul Society's Lower Eyre Peninsula Community Sleepout has exceeded expectations and raised more than $25,000 for those less fortunate.

In total 54 local community members slept out, with people coming from Elliston, Tumby Bay and Cummins to raise awareness about homelessness.

Vinnies conference president Peter Ryan said the result of the sleep out was "bloody amazing".

He said compared to the last sleep out held in Port Lincoln, there was a much broader range of the community represented at this year's sleep out.

"The money will let us keep going for another two years," he said.

"The amount of money we spend depends on how many people come here every Sunday night to eat."

The Port Lincoln sleep out was a remarkable success compared to other sleep outs in the state, with Mount Gambier getting 15 participants and Adelaide having a total of 73 people sleep out.

Mr Ryan said on an average Sunday night, about 20 people are served with a hot three-course meal at the Catholic Church Hall.

He said most of the people that went along just wanted to talk to someone and have some companionship.

"Half of them just want to chat," he said.

"They aren't homeless in the walls sense, but they are homeless in the relationship sense."

Mr Ryan said serving the meal indoors at the church had many benefits including being able to provide a more substantial meal and also took the worry out of the night if there was wet weather.

Port Lincoln Hotel sales and marketing manager Diana Williams, who helped start the Sunday night dinner at the Catholic Church Hall, said the money raised at the sleep out showed Port Lincoln's community spirit.

"The money is amazing," she said.

"It gives us two years of knowing that on a Sunday night, there's always going to be a hot meal and someone to talk to for people."

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