Queensland charities are experiencing unprecedented demand, with inflation, rate rises and the housing crisis leading to record numbers of vulnerable and disadvantaged residents seeking help for the first time in their lives.
Vinnies, Rosies Friends on the Street, OzHarvest and Lifeline’s UnitingCare have all reported an increase in demand with the vast number made up of new people accessing services.
Charities are also running out of food following for meal services during the cost of living crisis, with more than 100 organisations in Brisbane now on OzHarvest’s waitlist in the lead up to Christmas.
Meanwhile, Brisbane Youth Service also reported unprecedented demand, with outreach rising 88 per cent over the past four years, including more than 3000 urgent support requests in 2022-23.
Brisbane Youth Service’s Emily Nunes said urgent requests were at “extremely elevated levels” and rates of employed young people seeking support had doubled since 2020-21.
“This does not necessarily mean youth employment rates have increased, rather more young people are seeking support while they are employed,” she said.
“The service also experiencing a 15 per cent increase in the number of times young people engaged with us this year.”
Ms Nunes said the housing and cost of living crisis was disproportionately impacting young people who already face the highest rates of homelessness in Queensland.