This protective suit is a windproof, waterproof and warming garment with a hood that can be converted into a sleeping bag and can make life in homelessness more bearable, especially in the cold season that is now approaching. In addition, URW is launching a comprehensive online and offline information offer in 21 participating shopping centers to educate and raise awareness about the issue, support the initiative via the respective social media channels and call for further donations. URW itself is donating the first 100 Sheltersuits at the start of this year’s initiative. Local aid organisations are assisting with coordination and organization on the ground. The campaign is now taking place for the third year in a row. The big goal: a total donation of 110,000 euros.
The core of the joint initiative with URW is the distribution of the Sheltersuits to those in need locally. URW hands over the donated sheltersuits to local aid organisations, including Caritas in various cities, which distribute the suits to those most in need. The impact of the initiative is to be further strengthened through appeals for donations to customers as well as business and rental partners. The first rental partners have already joined the initiative. The initiative is accompanied by four weeks of information offers in the centres and awareness-raising via social media channels.
Since the start of the initiative in 2021, URW, rental partners and customers have already collected around 70,000 euros together – and have thus been able to help several hundred people in need. In addition, 1,215 kilograms of old materials were recycled and 1,326 hours of work were paid for in the Sheltersuit Foundation’s social workshop.
“Helping the homeless, sustainability and integration go hand in hand here like in hardly any other project. For us at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, community orientation and social engagement are integral parts of our corporate strategy and core to our ‘Better Places’ agenda. Therefore, it is a matter of course for us to take responsibility and make a contribution to the local communities with the help of our centers”, says Paul Douay, Director of Operations Austria & Germany and responsible for sustainability at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.
“It is great to see companies taking social responsibility. Through meaningful cooperation and partnerships, we can bridge the gap between homeless people and organisations that are willing to help them. A Sheltersuit builds trust so that a person in need feels they are not forgotten. With the help of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, tenants and visitors, we will be able to positively impact the lives of people experiencing homelessness”, adds Bart Nijsink, campaign manager at Sheltersuit.