Thousands of families in crisis visit our organisation each year. Their situation can be homelessness, redundancy, financial stress, education expenses, or poverty. Our social work staff spend, time with each of these families, and we endeavour to formulate a plan of assistance.
Our help can mean that a family moves in to our emergency accommodation for a short period of time, while we endeavour to link them to the public housing system.
Financial stress means that we work with the “hardship program” at various utility companies to avoid disconnection.
Those living on Social Security payments can be termed “living in poverty”.
The poverty line is measured at 50% of median household income (half of the “middle” income for all households).
This equates to a very austere living standard – a disposable income of less than $413.16 per week for a single adult.
the poverty line for a single adult was $413.16, for a couple with 2 children it was $860.68
More than 600,000 children – 17.7% of all children in Australia – were living below the poverty line in 2012, a report released by the Australian Council of Social Service has found.
Just over one third of the children were in sole parent households.
Nearly 14% of the population – 2.55 million people – were below the poverty line, after taking account of their housing costs, according to the report, which showed poverty was growing.
Four out of ten people relying on social security payments were below the line. While 61% of people below it relied on social security as their main income, 31% relied on wages as their main income.
The findings, dating from late in the Labor government, draw on new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for 2011-12 and previous years. They come as the Abbot government battles to get budget changes in welfare through parliament, and are likely to increase the strong political resistance to measures that have been widely criticised as harsh.