With many vulnerable families and individuals continuing to feel the impacts of COVID-19, the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW is urging everyone to give generously to the Vinnies Winter Appeal.
St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO, Jack de Groot, said that while many have weathered the worst of the pandemic, a growing number of people have sought assistance from Vinnies due to cuts to the JobSeeker support payment, limited housing options and fears of falling into homelessness.
"During the pandemic we saw a significant decrease in the number of people seeking assistance as a result of the coronavirus supplement. Every time the payment has been cut over the past year, the demand for our help has increased to the point that some are in a position worse than pre-COVID," he said.
"The Federal Government showed it was possible to lift thousands out of poverty by raising JobSeeker, but right now Vinnies is having to fill the gap for people forced to choose between eating every day or having a roof over their head."
President of St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, Peter McNamara, encouraged the community to support the Vinnies Winter Appeal by making a donation.
"We're seeing in various parts of the state that housing has become unaffordable even for families on dual incomes. In Newcastle, for instance, there have been cases of 40-50 people inspecting rental properties with some willing to pay months of rent in advance to secure a home," Mr McNamara said.
"People on low incomes are being priced out a safe and secure place to live and are facing homelessness.
"Families have been doing it tough on so many fronts, so a donation - whether big or small - can make a real difference to the lives of those struggling through the cold winter months.
"Every day our members strive to create a more just and compassionate society; with the funds from the Vinnies Winter Appeal we will be able to continue being there for people in their time of need.
"Vinnies has been supporting vulnerable people throughout NSW for almost 140 years.
"Vinnies members live and volunteer in more than 350 communities across the state, providing food, clothing, household bills and other support."
Mr Mr de Groot. added the NSW Government has been forced to act and done some pleasing work in ensuring rough sleepers have a place to live with programs like Together Home.
"However, with the moratorium on evictions being lifted there is real concern that people will be saddled with unsustainable levels of debt and left with nowhere to go," Mr de Groot said.
"The pandemic threw a spotlight on the complex, systemic problems that exist. There are no simple solutions, but the community can help support people in need by digging deep and making a donation to the Vinnies Winter Appeal."
Donations can be made at the Vinnies website, on 13 18 12 and at all Vinnies Shops.
All donations over $2 are tax deductible.