For people doing it tough or families struggling to make ends meet, the current economic climate is making it harder to get by. 

The release of Australia’s budget in October has predicted a decline in living standards over the next 12 months. Many Australian households are already feeling the impacts of rising costs of living, along with inflation at its highest rate since 1990 rising 7.3% in the past 12 months.

Research conducted by Orange Sky this year in partnership with YouGov, revealed that many Australians are currently facing financial hardship, with six in ten (59%) saying they struggle to make ends meet at least once a year and one in five (22%) who struggle each week. 

The impacts of these economic changes are felt hardest among vulnerable people and families in our community living on the poverty line, resulting in one in five (21%) Aussies having experienced homelessness, slightly up from 2021’s study which revealed 20% had experienced homelessness.

Additionally, the report also shed light on the impact of recent increases in the cost of living:

· Almost one in three (28%) feared losing their home due to financial struggles and one in four (25%) had to take on a secondary income to make ends meet.

· Of those who had previously experienced homelessness, six in 10 (59%) feared losing their home due to financial struggles and more than half (51%) took on a secondary income to get by.

· One in 10 (10%) say they struggled to make ends meet every day.

· Six in 10 (59%) experienced increased nervousness about their financial security in the past year.

· Almost half (49%) had to change their living circumstances due to rising costs.

Orange Sky Co-founder Nic Marchesi (OAM) said since 2014, Orange Sky has helped support the most vulnerable members of our community through the simple act of clean laundry, warm showers and most importantly genuine conversation when life takes an unexpected turn.

“Unfortunately, 2022 is already proving to be the toughest year many of us have faced,” he said.

“In the first six months of this year alone, we’ve seen everyday costs skyrocket, coupled with the ongoing pandemic and natural disasters like flooding across Queensland and New South Wales, it has created the perfect storm for homelessness and forced more Aussies to live paycheck-to-paycheck, making the support provided by Orange Sky more important than ever.

“When people experiencing homelessness stop by one of our vans, we wash their clothes and offer them a warm shower and it makes them feel better but they tell us that it’s the conversations our volunteers have with them they love the most.”

Orange Sky remains committed to supporting the increasing demand in our services for Australians experiencing hardship and homelessness. Each week, our legendary volunteers operate over 300 shifts around Australia, providing free access to laundry, warm showers and genuine conversations on orange chairs across Australia, allowing us to see the people and stories behind statistics.

It’s never been more important than now to provide support and help ease the load for those doing it tough.

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