Dear Prime Minister Turnbull,

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 4, the Department has said it will begin to cut off thousands of people from the program, leaving them at high risk of homelessness and destitution.

No one deserves to be cut off from the only support they have, without a safety net to find work or train to gain skills that will lead to self suffiency and employment.

As a society we believe in a strong safety net that enables people to work towards standing on their own two feet. Cutting the SRSS program is cruel and wrong, and will result in a crisis in our commmunities, with families and children at great risk.

We are calling on you to take a stand and restore the SRSS program for all people seeking asylum, regardless of 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.

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.

I look forward to your response,

Recent signatures:

A Roof Over My Head

From June 4, thousands of vulnerable people, including families with children will be cut off from the most basic income support, leaving them at risk of homelessness. Can you sign our petition to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, calling on him to restore support services to avoid a humanitarian crisis in our community?

Up to 12,500 people nationally, including families with children are at risk of losing all income support. The cuts will impact fathers, mothers, young people and children who are part of our communities, workplaces and neighbourhoods.

People seeking asylum, whether by boat or plane, often need support to survive in Australia while their claims for protection are being processed. These highly vulnerable people are often unable to work, haven't had work or study rights and need income support as a safety net while finding work or accessing training to build their skills.

In recent years, people have been supported through the Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) program. The program provides a basic living allowance (typically 89% of Newstart allowance or $247 per week), casework support and access to torture and trauma counselling. The Australian Government is now planning a drastic reduction in the Status Resolution in the program.

As a result of the changes, thousands of people could become homeless. They could stop taking medicines, skip meals, not be able to feed their kids, take exploitative jobs, and are at high risk of mental health deteriration.

Can you join us in calling on Malcolm Turnbull to retain the Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS) scheme for all people seeking protection in Australia?

Join a powerful community movement, including many refugee service organisations working together to stop the destitution of thousands of people seeking asylum by signing the petition today.

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