Wimmera people support Homeless Persons' Week by sleeping outside

ABOUT 20 people braved the cold and spent the night under the stars to raise money and awareness of homelessness.

Horsham's May Park was the scene of a sleep-out on Wednesday night for Homeless Persons' Week.

Temperatures dropped to seven degrees overnight, balmy conditions compared with Monday's low of -3.9.

Wimmera Uniting Care spokeswoman Adele Rohde said the event was well supported.

"Quite a few people came past in the morning or evening with donations," she said.

"There was definitely a lot of interest shown.

"Some people appreciated we were doing it, but were not quite brave enough to do it themselves."

She suspected the cold start to the week had deterred some people from staying.

"It wasn't as cold as I thought it was going to be, and I think everyone felt that way," she said.

"The weather was kind to us.

"The hardest part was the noise the trucks going past on the highway kept a few people awake."

Mrs Rohde thanked the participants and Wimmera businesses and groups for supporting the event.

Eateries such as Cheeky Fox Cafe and Oven Door Bakery donated left-over food and Horsham Salvation Army served barbecued burgers.

Wimmera musicians serenaded attendees with live music.

"We very much thank all our sponsors for making it possible," Mrs Rohde said.

Wimmera Uniting Care aims to raise $4000 for emergency housing with Homeless Persons' Week initiatives.

The agency made 196 Housing Establishment Fund assists and spent more than $82,500 on accommodation and housing for homeless people in the 2013-14 financial year.

Tin rattlers will be stationed along Firebrace Street, Horsham, and at the Darlot Street entrance to Horsham Plaza from 9am to 5pm today.

Wimmera Uniting Care will also accept donations online at http://www.wimmera.unitingcare.org.au/news-media/homeless-persons-week/donate/ until the end of the month.


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