It’s her thirteenth consecutive year taking part in Vinnies CEO Sleepout but for Berry McSherry it’s a cause that hits close to home.
Having experienced homelessness herself, Ms McSherry knows the cold nights without shelter all too well.
“I’ve been homeless more than once, I have lived the experience,” Ms McSherry said.
“The first time I experienced homelessness was when I was 16…my second experience was as a result of family violence and I had to flee home.”
The Hume council community centres team leader said she wanted to change people’s thoughts towards homelessness.
“I just want to let people know that it’s not the perception of old men that are drunks or alcoholics that are homeless,” she said.
Ms McSherry said it was “women in my age group, which is 55 and over” that are most at risk of homelessness.
With 25 years of experience being a CEO, Ms McSherry understands what it takes to run a successful business but she also knows just how quickly that can all change.
“I lost my business and I lost my home…not through any fault of mine, but due to financial circumstances. I was a CEO, very successful, had numerous properties, it can happen to anybody.”
And that’s why Ms McSherry is encouraging other CEOs to get involved in the cause.
“I think other CEOs that are privileged to be in that position also should get involved because it could happen to them even though they think it may not.”
For Ms McSherry, she plans on taking part in more sleepouts regardless of her job title.
“I’ll continue to do it, in a way it doesn’t matter what position I’m in. It’s about fundraising.”
Those participating are expected to raise a minimum of $5000, with funds going to Vinnies to help with their services.