It’s thought about two million Australians are living in poverty.
Recent research conducted by the State Council of Social Service and the Salvation Army shows the rise in the cost of living and increased underemployment has forced many Queenslanders below the poverty line.
Lincoln Humphries reports.
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An estimated 80,000 Australian families sought help from The Salvos last year and the numbers seem only to be growing this year.
Major Rick Hoffman, Salvation Army: “Many of us are only a couple of paychecks away from poverty ourselves, and that’s true of about 65 per cent of the population.”
But it’s not only family groups feeling the pinch, as the cost of living soars.
Cap 2: I’ve only been out of jail or three, four, five days now and now I’m back here.”
Events such as the Brisbane youth service’s BBQ and food donation, held today on Berwick Street, in The Valley, provides those in tough financial situations with reasonable means to provide for themselves without resorting to crime.
Craig: “All our food prices and everything are going up man, and we have to pay for everything. That’s why we have to steal.”
And it’s not just the cost of food that’s forcing people into dire financial straits,
R.J.: “They reckon that pensioners get it hard. Try being on Youth Allowance getting 325 dollars a week. Rent minimum in a boarding house is 155 dollars a week. Food, how do you do it?”
It’s estimated 413,000 Australians are currently in poverty. That’s almost 11 per cent of the population, but some believe it’s a conservative estimate.
Michael Tizard, Queensland Manager, Benevolent Society: “That’s what we know. It’s probably understated, but there’s a large number of people from all walks of life experiencing poverty across Queensland and across the country.”
Some of those are unwilling to put their hands up for help.
Tracey Adams, Boystown: “Often people often resent how they’ve let it go so long because there’s a stigma attached to poverty. They don’t want to feel like they’re putting their hand up in need.”
But for those who seek help the work is appreciated.
Cap 2: “Thank you, I love you and give me a kiss on the cheek.”
Lincoln Humphries, QUT News.