LETTER: New wave of Queenslanders at risk of being homeless
Letter to the Editor
FOR the first time since WWII, Queensland is facing an entirely new wave of people at risk of homelessness.
The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have shifted the poverty line, striking down families who have, until now, considered themselves financially sound.
More than 234,000 Queenslanders have lost their jobs due to the crisis across the state. Unemployment is forecast to peak at a record nine per cent in the December quarter. And Queensland hold(s) the highest rate of unemployment across the country.
While federal government funding packages ease and a moratorium on mortgage payments and residential rental eviction are no longer available in Queensland, the pressure on families and individuals facing hardship by loss of income has never been more extensive.
As Queenslanders, the level of community camaraderie and support is stronger than ever which we’ve seen firsthand with our COVID-19 fundraising appeal raising more than $1 million.
However, we know there are many Queenslanders doing it tough and haven’t reached out for assistance. This might be because they’ve never had to ask for help from a charity before. Or it might be that they think there’s others worse off. There is no shame or judgement in asking for help, we can all get through this together.
The St Vincent de Paul Society has been assisting people in Queensland for over 126 years – that is our purpose and why our donors support us so generously. All information shared is kept confidential and your privacy assured.
We are passionate about helping Queenslanders, and at this time, particularly those who may have fallen or are at risk of falling below the poverty line for the first time in their lives. Often a hand-up early on is enough before they’re at a greater risk of poverty, eviction or homelessness.
Vinnies has always been there to support Queenslanders with the everyday impacts of poverty or during a crisis — whether that’s paying someone’s overdue bill, providing other temporary financial support or a shoulder to lean on and someone to talk to — we will always be there.
We encourage all Queenslanders in need to please contact Vinnies by calling our free Helpline on 1800VINNIES (1800 846 643) or go to www.qld.vinnies.org.au to access our live chat and online Help Form.
Kevin Mercer, CEO, St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland