Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 - Swags for Homeless


Today. Major homeless charities and emergency relief services will be giving out crisis Backpack Beds to rough sleepers of Melbourne in the park. Many rough sleepers will be there to have their spirits lifted this Christmas. Shelters turn away homeless and many boarding houses are shutting down. Melbourne has a real homeless crisis that is increasing at an alarming rate. This is part of Swags for Homeless Week Nov 30-Dec 6.

Why is unique: 
World First. EVERY rough sleeper (official figuers 845 ABS 2006) will be given a Swags for Homeless Backpack Bed in Melbourne. Will inspire other cities and communities to follow.

Interview opportunities:
- CEO's and heads of major Melbourne charities and services eg. Hanover, NEHS
- Tony Clark, founder & volunteer of Swags for Homeless (instigator of world first city-wide hand out)
- Politicians invited
- rough sleepers (please be sensitive - some don't want to be filled)

What is the Backpack Bed - charities agree is a suitable crisis measure?

The world's only Backpack Bed - effective emergency relief for homeless:

  • waterproof / windproof / fire retardant / anti-mildew fabric
  • mosquito mesh ventilation (head and foot)
  • built in 190cm insulated comfort mattress (fire retardant, anti-mildew, waterproof with space blanket backing)
  • fully functioning backpack with built-in storage pockets & carabiners
  • lockable internal pocket (with supplied key lock)
  • ultra lightweight fabric + KEVLAR security loop

 When: 3rd December 12-2pm

Park. Corner of Bruce & Mary St, Preston, Melbourne (look for all the people - you can't miss it). Very close to North East Housing Services Corner.

Mr Tony Clark said, “It's all about providing a minimum level of dignity to a person sleeping on the street. It is an absolute horror that Australia, a first world country, has this homeless crisis. I am just an average Aussie bloke - enough is enough. Many don't realise that just a fifth of what some capital cities spend on Christmas decorations is enough to supply a whole city of rough sleeping homeless with a Backpack Bed. Festive cheer is great if you sleep in a warm bed. When homeless are turned away from shelters - a Backpack Bed is better than nothing. Charities agree that our Backpack Bed is an effective interim crisis measure."

"The famous Swags for Homeless Backpack Bed is going to lift the spirits of those who don't live in one of Australia's big homes," Mr Clark said. "Australia is lucky - with big homes and lots of bedrooms and beds - but are the homeless forgotten in summer? Christmas is a good time to be thankful for what we have."

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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 around Australia. 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)
Tony Clark, Founder & Chairman, Swags for Homeless
P: 03 9764 9422
M: 0411 455 779


Charities across Melbourne agree the Backpack Bed is an effective interim crisis measure for rough sleepers.


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