Roof Over My Head
To Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull,
A humanitarian crisis looms in Australia, as thousands of vulnerable people seeking asylum are at risk of losing the only support they have starting from June 18.
You may not be aware what the Department of Home Affairs is doing to the Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS), a program that provides basic income and torture and trauma counselling to people awaiting their refugee determination from the Australian government. As of June 18, the Department has said it will begin to exit thousands of people from the program, leaving them at high risk of homelessness, destitution and trauma.
No one deserves to be cut off from the only support they have. As a society we believe in a strong safety net that enables people to get on their own two feet. Cutting the SRSS program is cruel and wrong.
We are calling on you to take a stand and support the reinstatement of the SRSS program for all people seeking asylum, regardless their status in the determination process.
We know that forced destitution can severely exacerbate mental health issues. It is clear this policy will force people to the streets, and put great pressure on already very strained, unfunded services. In addition, this cut will push costs onto State and Local governments, who will come to pick up the slack left by the Federal government.
You have an opportunity to ensure a #RoofOverMyHead for thousands of children, families and individuals. Its not just good policy it’s the right thing to do.
We believe that meaningful employment is the best outcome for most people. We support all efforts to help people break into the workforce. But these cuts will not help people find work. It will hinder them. Without the stability of regular income, a roof over their head, food in the kitchen, and children happily at school, thousands of people will be forced to spend their time seeking out the basic support they need, rather than building their life in Australia.
We implore you to reinstate the SRSS program to all people seeking asylum, regardless of their status in the determination process. This support isn’t much, but it keeps people afloat while they set up their lives here.