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Sports stars demand action as homeless figure grows to 105,000

You could fill the MCG with the number of Australians living on the street and still have to pitch thousands more tents on the playing surface to fit the lot.

As impressive as Richmond’s 100,000 member tally is, even that monumental number falls short of the percentage of our population without a roof above their heads. More than 105,000 Australians are homeless right now, nearly half of which are under 25.

Next Saturday, August 5, The Chappell Foundation will host the ‘Sports Stars Sleepout’ to coincide with Homelessness Week.

Greg and Trevor Chappell, Mitchell Starc, Alyssa Healy, Steve Mortimer, Phil Waugh, Rhyan Grant and Kerri Pottharst will be among a host of stars spending a night on the hallowed turf.

Former Australian cricketer and Chappell Foundation board member Lisa Sthalekar will be one of many top athletes sleeping rough next Saturday night, alongside a several young people that had fallen on hard times.

“What we’re hoping to do is for the boys and the athletes to mingle and share their stories,” Lisa Sthalekar told Macquarie Sports Radio’s Cam Reddin.

“It’s something we see a lot with youths. They might not have a permanent home but they are constantly sleeping on people’s couches,” she said.

The Foundation has already raised $400,000 for youth homelessness organisation BackTrack, with hopes to grow that figure throughout the national awareness week.

“You think of how lucky we are and the support we’ve had around us individually. Some people for whatever reason don’t have that support and end up living rough on the street,” Ms Sthalekar said.

You can donate to help fight youth homelessness at The Chappell Foundation website.

Click below to hear the full interview