Entrenched poverty and persistent disadvantage are complex social issues that require an effective system and social policy setting to address the long term causes underpinning persistent and chronic disadvantage. Without sufficient financial investment from governments and the community to adequately fund support services, the situation for disadvantaged individuals is likely to remain unchanged or further deteriorate.
“Addressing such entrenched disadvantage would improve the lives of many Australians and lead to a more prosperous nation as a consequence of increased workforce participation and greater social cohesion.” 63
The 2015 Economic Social Impact Survey report has highlighted the experiences of deprivation and poverty of those seeking assistance from The Salvation Army. These individuals and families are highly disadvantaged and marginalised due to their significant lack of financial and social resources. For many individuals and families, this has led to compromised social connections and networks, and limited access to services and activities. These findings compel The Salvation Army to continue to advocate for these individuals, and work to alleviate the burden of social and economic disadvantage at every level.
The Salvation Army is concerned that a respondent’s comment, “I can’t continue to live like this”, describes the situation for too many disadvantaged Australians. The Salvation Army believes that all Australians should enjoy the same opportunities to work, have an adequate standard of living and participate fully in the community. ESIS has demonstrated that there are a significant number of people who do not have these opportunities and who continue to experience disadvantage, deprivation and social exclusion on a daily basis.
“I never lose hope and have to try to maintain some positive aspect; otherwise I and others like me just would not make it through these times. Hope and positivity are the only things you have to hold on.”