Anti-Poverty Week calls for action as more Queensland families struggle with essentials
The rising cost of living and housing is impacting Queensland’s youth like never before, with Vinnies Queensland releasing some alarming statistics for Anti-Poverty Week, 15-27 October.
CEO Kevin Mercer said of the 248,000+ Queenslanders and families supported by the organisation in the last financial year, nearly half of them were under the age of 16.
Mr Mercer said this showed a significant amount of Queenslanders coming to the charity for help were families with young children.
“The face homelessness and poverty is changing – as the cost of living and housing continues to rise, we’ve seen more and more younger families reaching out for help with the essentials,” he said.
“It’s been a real challenge to keep up with the increase in requests for help – the number of people we supported in the last financial year increased by 15 percent from the year before, and 36 percent from 2020-21.
“With Anti-Poverty Week 2023 calling to end child poverty in Australia, it’s painful to know we’re going backwards, not forward in this area.”
Mr Mercer said it was an unfortunate reality that the risk of poverty in Queensland was heading in the wrong direction, with organization Members across the state hearing from more families forced to live in their cars or tents to survive.
“We’ve seen some positive step forwards with new vital funding for housing and increases to JobSeeker and Commonwealth Rent Assistance over the last 12 months,” Mr Mercer said.
“But we need to work to a future where all children – and all Queenslanders – have a secure roof over their heads and food on the dinner table each night.”
Mr Mercer said with Anti-Poverty Week 2023 marking a year since the Queensland Government’s Housing Summit, he welcomed more action to make housing and basic essentials affordable for Queensland families surviving on lower incomes.
If you’re struggling to make ends meet, you can reach out for help at Vinnies Queensland by calling 1800 846 643 during business hours.