Lifting the Veil on the Stigma of Poverty

Now four months since face masks and restrictions became the new normal, colder weather conditions and eased social distancing measures are creating the perfect storm for a potential second wave of infection. Maintaining social distancing and working within restrictions is essential for us to support people, as our Vinnies members, volunteers and staff continue stepping up to help individuals and families stay safe.

In the Sutherland Shire of Sydney, client support officers like Jo-Anne are encountering new faces every day – many of whom have never had to rely on social security or the support of charities before.

“We are mainly assisting those who have been in the workforce and have been forced to seek assistance to provide food for their family and keep a roof over their head,” explains Jo-Anne.

With the government yet to commit to extending JobKeeper payments for workers who have lost their jobs or confirm a permanent increase for the JobSeeker safety net, Vinnies will continue advocate on their behalf and offer kindness and support through this time of hardship.

“This virus has had an immediate economic effect on people who once lived their lives unaffected by poverty. In some ways, this is highlighting the need for greater resources to be available in the community."

“For better or worse, this crisis has reordered our local community. The veil has been lifted on the stigma of poverty, and people are seeing Centrelink payments through a very different lens.”

For many people who already came to us for assistance, the impacts of the pandemic, such as intensified disadvantage and social isolation, make it even harder to get by.

“Our centres were always a place they could make contact and discuss the events in their lives face-to-face, and for some we were the only people they spoke to all day. It’s difficult as many don’t have phones or phone credit.”

We continue to assist people from all walks of life who are struggling as a result of the pandemic, but we need your help. If you’d like to help support those who need us right now, make a donation today.

Anyone in need of assistance is welcome to give us a call on 13 18 12.