Tuesday, December 1st, 2009 - Swags for Homeless

Swags for Homeless provides free Backpack Beds™ (swags) as an interim crisis measure to people who are sleeping rough on Melbourne's streets.  In this world first attempt, all street sleeping homeless in Melbourne (845 people - ABS 2006) will be given a Backpack Bed.  All homeless will now have the offer of a minimum level of emergency relief shelter.

Distribution will begin during Swags for Homeless Week (Mon Nov 30 - Sun Dec 6). This will provide a case study for all cities and regional towns affected by the homeless crisis to follow suit.

Tony Clark, founder & volunteer, Swags for Homeless, said, “It’s all about providing a minimum level of dignity to a person sleeping on the street.  When homeless people are turned away from shelters, a Backpack Bed is better than nothing.  As a society, we should be providing street-sleeping homeless with a dignified outdoor Backpack Bed. Charities agree our Backpack Bed is an effective interim crisis measure.”

Backpack Beds are distributed by homeless and emergency relief agencies.  The aim is to improve sleeping conditions and health, and to show homeless people that others do care - while providing dignity to those sleeping on our streets in crisis.

About the Backpack Bed - emergency relief for the homeless:

  • waterproof / windproof / fire retardant / anti-mildew fabric
  • mosquito mesh ventilation
  • 190cm insulated comfort mattress (fire retardant, anti-mildew, non water absorbing)
  • backpack with built-in storage pockets
  • lockable internal pocket (with supplied key lock)
  • ultra lightweight street tough materials + KEVLAR security loop

 There are over 104,600 homeless in Australia.
16,375 sleep on the streets nightly (ABS 2006).

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Swags for Homeless


Founded by Tony Clark, Swags for Homeless provides free Backpack Beds™ (swags) as an interim crisis measure to street sleeping homeless.  The concept of a swag being used for homeless people was revolutionised to create a Backpack and Bed in one (an outdoor all weather protection sleeping unit).

•  National not for profit charity - donations over $2 are tax deductible
•  100% run by professional volunteers - no paid staff
•  Only 1.89% of funds raised went to overheads (ASIC Audit March 2009)

The organisation's mission is:

  1. To nationally improve, support and bring back dignity to homeless people.
  2. To establish, conduct and manage projects focused on the homeless.
  3. To assist and conduct social welfare and relief work including the relief of poverty, sickness, suffering and misfortune.

For more information, contact
Mr Tony Clark, Chairman and Founder of Swags for Homeless,
PO Box 5171, Studfield Melbourne Victoria 3152 Australia
Ph (03) 9764 9422; Mobile 0411 544 779;
email [email protected]; website www.swags.org.au


Tony Clark, Founder & Chairman, Swags for Homeless
P: (03) 9764 9422
M: 0411 455 779
W: www.swags.org.au

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In a world first, this charity will distribute free Backpack Beds to Melbourne's street-sleeping homeless (part of Swags for Homeless Week Nov 30-Dec 6). The first ship container delivers on Tuesday, Nov 24 to the founder's humble home in Knoxfield.

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