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  • Homelessness on the Rise Throughout the U.S.

    http://wilmingtonjournal.blackpressu...wsID=3154sID=3

    WASHINGTON (NNPA) Despite recent reports of an improved economy, hunger and homelessness are on the rise, according to a study of 25 major cities by the U. S. Conference of Mayors.

    This survey underscores the impact the economy has had on everyday Americans, says conference president, Mayor James E. Garner of Hempstead, N.Y. The face of homelessness has changed and now reflects who we least suspect.

    For example, 61 percent of people requesting emergency food assistance in the cities surveyed held jobs.

    The annual Hunger and Homelessness Survey, released in late December, reports that requests for emergency food assistance increased by an average of 17 percent over the previous year, and requests for emergency shelter assistance increased by an average of 13 percent.

    It is disheartening and disturbing to learn that so many of our fellow Americans are in desperate need of shelter, food, clothing and the other basic necessities of life, says Richard Macedonia, chief operating officer for Sodexho U.S.A., a leading provider of food and facilities management in the United States. In nearly every major U. S. city, the problem of hunger and homelessness is steadily growing.

    The survey was released only days before the U. S. Department of Commerce released its third and final estimate of the nations economic performance for the third quarter of 2003. The agency estimated that the gross domestic product (output of goods and services) grew by 8.2 percent in the three-month period that ended Sept. 30, more than doubling the growth rate of the previous three months. The unemployment rate also held steady in November at 5.9 percent with a 1.3 percent drop in the Black rate from 11.5 to 10.2 percent.

    Yet, there was little to cheer for during the holiday season.

    Among the most glaring trends was an 11 percent leap in families with children requesting food, from 48 percent in 2002 to 59 percent in 2003 a record 56 percent of cities having to turn people away without help from food assistance programs, up 24 percent over the previous year and the highest percentage since six years ago when 71 percent was recorded and a record 84 percent of cities having to turn away people from homeless shelters because of lack of space, up 38 percent over 2002 and the largest percentage in seven years.

    The conference is the official organization of U.S. cities with populations of 30,000 there are 1,139 cities in that category.

    The 25 cities that participated in the survey were Boston Burlington, Vt. Cedar Rapids, Iowa Charleston, S.C. Chicago Cleveland Denver Detroit Kansas City, Mo. Los Angeles Louisville Metro, Ky. Nashville New Orleans Norfolk, Va. Philadelphia Phoenix Portland Providence, R.I. Salt Lake City San Antonio, Texas San Francisco Santa Monica, Calif. Seattle Trenton, N.J. and Washington, D.C.

    The data was collected from the cities between Nov. 1, 2002 to Oct. 31, 2003. Among other findings:

    Twenty cities reported that unemployment and unemployment-related problems were the leading causes of hunger. Overriding causes of hunger in 13 cities were attributed to low-paying jobs and in 11 cities, rising housing costs

    More than half of the cities 56 percent reported that people in need were turned away with no help because of lack of food and resources. More than 14 percent of the requests for emergency food assistance are estimated to have gone unmet over the past year

    Fifty-nine percent of those requesting emergency food assistance were members of families with children

    Twenty-three cities said the lack of affordable housing contributed to homelessness. Other major causes included low-paying jobs, lack of needed services, mental illness or substance abuse problems

    Eighty-four percent of the cities reported that emergency shelters have turned away homeless families because of a lack of resources. More than 14 percent of the requests for emergency food assistance are estimated to have gone unmet. Fifteen percent of the requests from families were not met and

    People remained homeless for an average of five months in the survey cities with 60 percent of the cities reporting that the length of homelessness time increased over the past year. Single men made up 41 percent of the homeless population, families with children made up 40 percent, single women, 14 percent and independent youth, 5 percent.

    Robert Forney, president and CEO of Americas Second Harvest, the nations largest hunger-relief organization, says carrying the load has not been easy.

    We are hopeful that this will spur the president and Congress to renew and strengthen our national fight against child hunger in America, Forney says.

    The mayors conference say that even with an improving economy more than 80 percent of the cities expect that requests for emergency food, assistance and shelter will increase in 2004.

    These are not simply statistics, says Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell, who co-chairs the Conferences Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness. These are real people who are hungry and homeless in our cities.
    -=-
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  • #2
    Homelessness on the Rise Throughout the U.S.


    "Anonymous" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]http://wilmingtonjournal.blackpressu...wsID=3154sID=3
    WASHINGTON (NNPA) Despite recent reports of an improved economy, hunger
    and homelessness are on the rise, according to a study of 25 major cities by
    the U. S. Conference of Mayors.
    This survey underscores the impact the economy has had on everyday
    Americans, says conference president, Mayor James E. Garner of Hempstead,
    N.Y. The face of homelessness has changed and now reflects who we least
    suspect.
    For example, 61 percent of people requesting emergency food assistance in
    the cities surveyed held jobs.
    The annual Hunger and Homelessness Survey, released in late December,
    reports that requests for emergency food assistance increased by an average
    of 17 percent over the previous year, and requests for emergency shelter
    assistance increased by an average of 13 percent.
    It is disheartening and disturbing to learn that so many of our fellow
    Americans are in desperate need of shelter, food, clothing and the other
    basic necessities of life, says Richard Macedonia, chief operating officer
    for Sodexho U.S.A., a leading provider of food and facilities management in
    the United States. In nearly every major U. S. city, the problem of hunger
    and homelessness is steadily growing.
    The survey was released only days before the U. S. Department of Commerce
    released its third and final estimate of the nations economic performance
    for the third quarter of 2003. The agency estimated that the gross domestic
    product (output of goods and services) grew by 8.2 percent in the
    three-month period that ended Sept. 30, more than doubling the growth rate
    of the previous three months. The unemployment rate also held steady in
    November at 5.9 percent with a 1.3 percent drop in the Black rate from 11.5
    to 10.2 percent.The old Gross National Product actually measured U.S. production. The Gross
    Domestic Product measures production in U.S. owned factories in China,
    Mexico, or other foreign nations, so it is no longer an accurate measure of
    factory output in the U.S. No wonder homelessness has risen despite the
    bogus Gross Domestic Product. It's kind of cheap of this article not to
    mention this fact. It would be interesting to know how many homeless had
    lost their jobs to foreign competition both within and without our borders.
    It would also be interesting to know how many homeless are illegal aliens.


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