All funds raised by an upcoming race day will help tackle the growing homelessness crisis faced by disadvantaged older people in the Illawarra.
Seniors living provider IRT Group's IRT Foundation will host an inaugural charity race day, 'Race Against Homelessness', at Kembla Grange Racecourse on June 15.
IRT Foundation manager Toby Dawson said men and women over the age of 65 are the fastest growing cohorts of people facing homelessness in Australia.
"On any given night there are almost 20,000 people over the age of 55 sleeping rough in Australia, including 2000 over the age of 75," he said.
"Research shows that 64 per cent of these people will die within five years.
"This is a truly shocking statistic and one that the IRT Foundation is dedicated to addressing by helping older people in need access housing, support services and opportunities for social and civic participation."
In 2017/18 IRT Foundation activities directly impacted the lives of 6813 people, including helping 90 people to find appropriate housing through its Assistance with Care and Housing (ACH) Program.
The ACH Program matches disadvantaged older people with age-friendly, affordable housing, including housing at below-market rent in IRT Retirement Villages.
"Over the last decade, the number of older homeless people has almost doubled as the cost of living continues to rise," Mr Dawson said.
"The sad truth is that there is only one or two life circumstances between any of us finding ourselves at risk of homelessness. A divorce, job loss, a serious illness or injury is all it can take for the spiral into homelessness to begin.
"We want to help more disadvantaged older people into safe, secure housing."
The inaugural event is expected to attract more than 300 guests, who can enjoy an afternoon of networking, socialising, food and beverages.
Bookings: click here or phone 134 478 for tickets and sponsorship opportunities