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The power of 28,000 people wearing hoodies

Words by Smiley Team

Why would 28,000 people be wearing hoodies in Australia on 20 April? Well, for a very good reason.

HoMie is a not-for-profit supporting young people affected by homelessness or hardship. HoMie stands for “Homelessness of Melbourne incorporated enterprise” – and 100% of their profits go towards supporting young people affected by homelessness or hardship to equip them with the skills for the future. 

This April, HoMie has launched its #Hoodies4Homelessness campaign, encouraging corporates, companies, and consumers alike to join the worthy cause and don a hoodie on Youth Homelessness Matters Day on April 20. 

Stats show more than 9,000 young people (aged 12-24) are homeless in New South Wales on any given night. Severe overcrowding is the most common type of homelessness among young people in Australia – others include supported accommodation, couch surging, and rough sleeping.

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As HoMie’s biggest fundraising effort to date, #Hoodies4Homelessness will raise much-needed funds and awareness in supporting young people affected by homelessness. 

HoMie co-founder and CEO Nick Pearce said: “Youth Homelessness Matters Day brings to light an uncomfortable truth; that young people are disproportionately affected by homelessness throughout Australia.

“Alongside our incredible partners and advocates like Whitelion and Tommy Little, we are encouraging 28,000 people to wear a hoodie this April 20, to garner awareness and support while raising funds."

'Young people are disproportionately affected by homelessness'

The 28,000 reflects the number of young people experiencing homelessness on any given night in Australia.  When you buy a hoodie (and they ship internationally!), 100% of the profits go towards supporting young people affected by homelessness or hardship.

Funds raised from this campaign will be split between HoMie and Whitelion, a community organisation committed to helping youth at risk in Australia, assisting them find pathways to work and positive connections to their community 

Whitelion Youth CEO, Hang Vo, is passionate about young people at risk finding stable housing. “Stable housing underpins everything we are trying to support young people achieve – without a home it’s near impossible to be in good health, maintain relationships and find work," he says.

"We support young people who try to start their first job while living in a car, sleeping on a mates’ couch, not knowing where they’ll be the next night. They are amazing, courageous, resilient and talented young people. Things shouldn’t be so hard for them so early in life”. 

HoMie’s journey

The Melbourne-born streetwear brand established itself as a fashion leader making a true difference since launching in 2015.

It “started out of curiosity", between three friends who were eager to break down the stigma associated with homelessness. Starting as a Facebook page - 'Homelessness of Melbourne' - the initiative aimed to draw awareness to the faces and stories of everyday people affected by homelessness, allowing people to share their own narrative in a dignified way. 

The following year, this grew into HoMie - 'Homelessness Of Melbourne Incorporated Enterprise' and a pop-up at Melbourne Central was born, with a singular monogram T-shirt and a few other brands hanging on racks. In late 2016, HoMie moved from the Melbourne Central pop-up to its current store. 

“When you shop with HoMie, you're helping achieve our mission, to support young people affected by homelessness or hardship,” they say.

Inspired to act?

GET INVOLVED: Registrations for #Hoodies4Homelessness are open until April 20th. Register as an individual or group

DONATE: You can support HoMie by sending a donation to help them further support young people experiencing homelessness.


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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