Mentone Community Assistance and Information Bureau Inc
Most people that we see at our organisation are already struggling to met their everyday costs of living. The tightening of eligibility for E.R may force volunteers to seek easier volunteer roles, therefore diminishing the points of contact for individuals and families requiring crisis assistance.
Most E.R Programs are under resourced and have very limited administrative funds.
We know lack of affordable housing in this area places people into housing-such as high cost private rental housing, insecure rooming housing (registered and un-registered). This has it’s own problems and only hides the fact that some Australians are living in very precarious, unprotected, dangerous housing environments.
Individuals receiving Newstart payment and rental Assistance can pay 60-70% of their total income on their private rent. Deductions for household bills (paying fortnightly Bill smoothing) will further impact their budget and often the person will have nothing left for food, health, travel, clothes and other expenses, let alone any unforseen expenses.
Many people we see are just trying to keep their head above water on a monthly basis. The volunteers provide immediate forms of E.R and try to assist further by making relevant referrals and providing information for other services for extra support.
We help people that are mainly living on or below the poverty line and need some immediate support financially and emotionally. Affordable Housing for all people needs to be a priority, this could then take away the absorption of 60-70% of a persons’ income on keeping a roof over their head and that of their children’s.
Our organisation thinks out of the square on ways we could best help the person that presents at our doors. We would see that current proposals as being restrictive and at times not effective.
The volunteers do not want have a work load of a paid caseworker or job network provider. We keep it simple, and the help volunteers provide often keeps people in their current living situation and able to eat that night.