MANY of Warrnambool’s so called middle class are turning to charities for help in increasing numbers with the higher costs of living forcing people to go without.
About 10 more people a week, on top of their client list of about 30 people, were presenting for help at the city’s Salvation Army.
Warrnambool Salvation Army’s Captain Darren Aitken said he was seeing between seven to 10 people more seeking help and there had probably been a weekly growth of about five to seven per cent.
Mr Aitken said it wasn’t unusual for people to be unable to afford their medications prescribed by their GP or children missing out on school extras.
“We’re seeing an increase, there is no doubt,” he said.
“It seems there are people that used to be middle class who have dropped down.
“It’s because of the higher cost of living, higher rents and groceries. Everything just keeps going up.
“There are also those people who have lost their jobs and are just trying to get back on their feet.”
Mr Aitken said affordable housing would go a long way to addressing the problem.
“There are mums and dads who are working two jobs but have huge debt from their mortgages and are just really struggling,” he said.
The Salvation Army polled more than 1700 clients over two weeks and found 29 per cent couldn’t afford a decent meal at least once a day and 52 per cent had gone without meals.
About 45 per cent have said they were selling or pawning possessions to make ends meet and 37 per cent can’t afford medications prescribed by their GP.