FOR some people, living off $39 a day is a reality.
During Anti-Poverty Week, St Patrick’s Community Support Centre joined the Raise the Rate campaign, which supports increasing the rate of Newstart.
St Pat’s crisis accommodation case worker Prue said raising the rate would allow her clients to lead a more fulfilling life.
“They will be able to pay their bills, go to appointments without the added stress,” she said.
“We are recognising first and foremost our clients are struggling to maintain access to housing, address their mental health issues and prescriptions.
“It would be one less struggle to deal with.”
She said a common complaint by clients is the complexity of the system.
“Many wish it wouldn’t be so difficult to navigate,” she said.
“If you don’t have support or a worker with you that understands the process many people give up or have no funds whatsoever.”
St Pat’s chief executive Michael Piu said there was no doubt raising the rate was core to the mission of ending homelessness.
“There have been studies on how much you need per week to pay for the basics and the rate for Newstart is well below that,” he said.
“If you don’t address it then you will never address homelessness.
“We try to not be to political, we want to deliver services but it was so important and so core to our mission we had to say something about it.”