JobSeeker not enough
During the Covid-19 pandemic, here at St John’s Care, we have had a lot more people asking for help that would not normally need our services.
One person that springs to mind is Molly (not her real name) who contacted us a few weeks ago. She had recently secured a job as a dental receptionist. As a single mother she was delighted with the role which allowed her quality time with her son as well.
Molly has always had a job since leaving school and has never had to rely on help from the government.
She had a really bad time with her ex-partner and as such struggles with anxiety.
When Molly called the Centre, she was very upset and couldn’t stop crying. I managed to calm her down and she explained that she had lost her job and was not entitled to the JobKeeper payment. Her bills were escalating more and more.
She said that when she applied for the JobSeeker allowance, which was really hard for her to do, she was given $713 to last her a fortnight. Her rent alone was $615 which left her with almost nothing to live on per fortnight.
Molly said that she had ended up in hospital because her mental health was suffering so much with the stress of having no money and not being able to provide for herself or her son.
I got in touch with Actew AGL and connected them with Molly. They added to her account lots of rebates that she was entitled to and allowed her to pay a manageable fortnightly amount. Our wonderful volunteers arranged a delivery of food for her as she was unable to leave her house and I call her regularly to check on her wellbeing.
Molly sent me a text recently. She wanted St John’s Care staff to know how tough things have been for her over the past few months and that she has felt embarrassed and ashamed at not being able to look after herself and her son.
She said that we all made her feel ‘comfortable’ and that when things turn around for her, she will ‘pay it forward.’
During the hard times of Coronavirus only, St John’s Care is providing a delivery service of food to people that are unable to leave their house, especially the elderly.
Items required: toothpaste, small washing up liquid, porridge, long life full cream milk and pasta sauce.
SJC Community Worker