Peo­ple in need de­serve a choice

Daily Mercury - - OPINION -

WHEN you’re fac­ing a huge en­ergy bill, do you turn down the heat­ing or do you go with­out meals?

When you can’t pay the rent, do you fall deeper into debt, or do you con­front the fright­en­ing risks of home­less­ness?

Every day in Queens­land, peo­ple face im­pos­si­ble choices like these. Poverty means mak­ing tough de­ci­sions every day and every night.

Right now in Aus­tralia, more than 116,427 women, chil­dren and men are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing home­less­ness.

Some­times sleep­ing rough is the only op­tion they have.

The St Vin­cent de Paul So­ci­ety Queens­land re­mains stead­fast in its com­mit­ment to help­ing peo­ple in need.

From 2016 to 2017, St Vin­cent de Paul So­ci­ety Queens­land pro­vided sup­port to one in every 15 Queens­lan­ders.

Our ser­vices are more and more in de­mand as the costs of es­sen­tial goods and ser­vices, in­clud­ing health, ed­u­ca­tion and util­i­ties, are in­creas­ing faster than wages for many low­in­come earn­ers.

Oth­ers are forced by un­bear­able cir­cum­stances to make life-chang­ing de­ci­sions.

A sin­gle mother called Jenny is one of those peo­ple who turned to Vin­nies for help.

She ex­pe­ri­enced eight years of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence be­fore fac­ing the im­pos­si­ble choice of con­tin­u­ing to live in fear at home or leav­ing home with noth­ing.

For­tu­nately for Jenny and her young chil­dren, we were able to step in af­ter she’d made her brave choice.

The fam­ily moved into one of our sup­ported ac­com­mo­da­tions for peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, and now they are back on their feet.

This win­ter, many more peo­ple will con­front equally dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions.

With the gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tions of the com­mu­nity, when peo­ple take that leap of faith, the St Vin­cent de Paul So­ci­ety Queens­land can pro­vide them food, shel­ter and emo­tional sup­port.

Please do­nate to the Vin­nies Queens­land 2018 Win­ter Ap­peal, and help turn the im­pos­si­ble choices peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dis­ad­van­tage face into hope for a brighter fu­ture. John For­rest, Queens­land State Pres­i­dent,

St Vin­cent de Paul So­ci­ety

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