Anti-Poverty Week – let’s make an #Antipovertypriority
Anti-Poverty Week was established in Australia as an expansion of the United Nations annual International Anti-Poverty Day on October 17. Poverty and severe hardship affect more than a million Australians. For a developed nation like Australia, this number is a disgrace.
So often is the case when discussions around poverty arise, two schools of opinion arise with it: one acknowledging the hardship faced by so many and the difficulty in pulling oneself out of disadvantage and the other being that those in poverty are facing a situation of their own doing. At Samaritans we have found compassion-driven discussions around alleviating poverty provide the most resourceful outcome for those trying to escape hardship.
This Anti-Poverty Week, Samaritans joins Anglicare in recommending three pillars in fighting poverty: affordable housing, secure work and adequate income.
Without these three key necessities, it is impossible to expect any person to be able to rise successfully out of a situation of complete disadvantage. Every day at Samaritans we see individuals and families struggling with access to the very basics to keep them housed, fed and safe. In the last month alone 1000 people have presented to our Emergency Relief centres unable to put food on their dinner table or pay their bills.
Reducing poverty requires a long term vision. Emergency relief in the form of food parcels and utility bill vouchers can help someone in the short term, but government-driven strategic investment in housing and employment will ensure long term success for those currently stuck in the cycle of poverty and disadvantage.