Homeless meets Famous

Real Estate Agent with Mosman Neutral Bay Realty, Sydney Australia License #1398412

Last Thursday night I joined the 10th annual CEO Sleepout to raise money for the homless through the St Vincent de Paul Society. There were about 275 CEO's on the coldest rainiest night Sydney has had for a long time, the idea was for us to walk in their shoes for a night or more appropriately, sleep where they sleep, on the street on a piece of cardboard.

It was a very humbling experience and I was able to raise $5,735 to add to the some $5.7m that was raised around Australia that night. In the morning, I was mingling with the other 'survivors' and was chatting to Peter, see photo below. He was just Peter and he slept out with the rest of us. In fact he is Sir Peter Cosgrove, his Excellency, the Governor General of Australia. What an extraordinary man and again I was humbled. You always get back so much more than you give.

Sir Peter Cosgrove







On Thursday night I took part in the 10th annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout. Alongside 285 CEOs at the Sydney event and some 1,285 across the country, I awoke the following day a different person. The experience gave me a small glimpse into what is daily reality for over 105,000 people and I learnt some important things about the seriousness of issue and the people Vinnies helps.

I learnt that it could easily be me. Or you. Or someone we both know, who is experiencing homelessness. And that an abysmal number of Australia’s kids, some 17,000 have no home and are forced onto the streets because of family violence. We heard from some very brave people last night, such as Gabrielle, a young woman who shared her own story of homelessness and sang a moving song inspired by her experience. 

Some of you would be delighted to hear how cold I was. You may laugh at the chorus of snores from around Luna Park keeping me awake and how uncomfortable one sheet of cardboard can be. But I am well aware that just one night was a drop in the ocean compared to living that reality every day. 

I got to go home, freshen up, have a hot meal and be with people who care about me. But this is a privilege so many Australians will not enjoy. People just like you and me – mums, dads and even small children who have no home. 

The event might be over, but there is still so much to do to write a #newchapter of homelessness in Australia. Last night we raised important awareness and funds, but we have a long way to go to help Vinnies reach their target of $10 million.

Thank you for your donation could you please ask your friends and colleagues to sponsor me at https://www.ceosleepout.org.au/ceos/?ceo_name=geoff+grist and help invest in real solutions for people without a home.



Posted by

Geoff Grist

Mosman Neutral Bay Realty, Sydney Australia

Comments (8)

Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Lovely story, what a wonderful idea.  A

Jun 22, 2015 08:45 AM
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Geoff, this is such a moving, wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it. Homelessness is a horrible thing all over the world. And you are right, it could be any one of us, at any moment in time. 

Wow.. I am humbled by this story. 

I am planning on doing a murder mystery fund raiser this fall to raise money for our local fuel bank. You have re-inspired me, I was losing a bit of my steam. Thank you. 

Jun 22, 2015 11:08 AM
Geoff Grist
Mosman Neutral Bay Realty, Sydney Australia - Sydney, AU
Author of Sold Above Market book

Hey Andrea, I am excited that you have been re-inspired, we all need to do whatever we can especially if it takes us outside our comfort zone.

Jun 22, 2015 11:15 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Geoff, good for you and all of the other participants.  Your story is so inspiring.

Jun 22, 2015 12:50 PM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Geoff-That is wonderful. I wish more people would do that. 

Aug 04, 2015 12:44 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Geoff - what a great effort you have undertaken! That was a terrific way to literally feel the pain of homelessness, even for a brief moment; most of us can't imagine. Alas, Sydney is not alone - I see it all the time in my beloved New York City and it was the same on the streets of Paris.

Sep 03, 2015 11:33 AM
Christine O'Shea
Christine E O'Shea Broker - Naples, FL

Hi Geoff,  That was quite moving.  We have a lot of homeless people in the States, Florida and Naples.  At least, for the most part, in Naples it is warm.  There are some great organizations and St Vincent is one of them.

Sep 04, 2015 01:47 AM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Hello Geoff! this is a great way to make the point that people need help! wonderful thing to do!  thank you!

Sep 14, 2015 05:13 PM