It’s anti-poverty week and this year the focus is on supporting affordable housing to reduce poverty. Three million people live below the poverty line in Australia, that’s 1 in 8 people. The COVID-19 pandemic means an increasing number of people are unemployed and struggling to make ends meet. 1 in 5 people have experienced problems accessing food in the last 12 months, particularly women.
This year the campaign is partnering with the Everybody’s Home campaign to support affordable housing for all and the Raise the Rate campaign to support the call to ensure unemployment payments stay above $40 per day.
What you can do
You can organise an activity in your community, school or workplace to help people learn about poverty. Check out the website for ideas for activities. You may also wish to:
- Talk to people about poverty to raise awareness.
- Provide practical help like a collection of clothing, school uniforms or baby equipment in your local community.
- Volunteer your services to an organisation working to address poverty and hardship.
For more information, visit the Anti-Poverty Week website.
What AccessCare is doing
AccessCare’s Community Connections program works in the community for people who are experiencing homelessness or area at risk of homelessness. A number of initiatives are underway including:
- Rooming House Blitzes to offer COVID-19 prevention information and resources. This also provides an opportunity to check the welfare of the residents and ensure they know where and how to be tested for COVID-19.
- Linking people to emergency relief agencies, health and housing providers, specialist social workers and psychological services depending on their needs.
- Partnering with the State Government’s HEART – Homeless Emergency Accommodation Response Team - program to deliver specialist support and advocacy for homeless people in motels to make longer term housing plans.
- Working with other Local Governments on a Regional Homelessness Charter that addresses issues from rough sleeping to increasing the amount of affordable housing builds in the South Eastern suburbs.
- Continuing project work and advocacy with all levels of government and local communities to address disadvantage and housing stress in Kingston and Bayside and surrounding suburbs.
Image: Image courtesy of YWCA. Central Bayside Community Health Services and Mardi from AccessCare are shown here with assembled buckets of cleaning supplies and reusable masks which were given to residents in our affordable housing in Melbourne.