Skip to comments.Hungry, Homeless Figures Increase in U.S.
Posted on 12/14/2004 7:41:14 PM PST by satchmodog9
Hungry, Homeless Figures Increase in U.S.
Tue Dec 14, 6:05 PM ET U.S. National - AP
By SAM HANANEL, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Requests for emergency food and shelter increased in many large U.S. cities this year, but not by as much as in recent years, according to a survey released Tuesday.
Requests for food rose by 14 percent, while appeals for shelter increased by 6 percent, said the annual report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, based on surveys of 27 large cities.
The numbers have risen every year since the conference began the survey 20 years ago. However, the rate of increase for food requests was the lowest since 1998. The rate of increase for shelter requests was less than half what it was in 2003, and the lowest since 1997.
"The good news here is that the increase in demand overall has slowed somewhat," said Nashville, Tenn., Mayor Bill Purcell, who chairs the conference's task force on hunger and homelessness. "The bad news is that the increased demand is all over the country."
Louisville, Ky., and its metropolitan area experienced the greatest spike in demand for emergency food, with requests rising 32 percent. Food needs rose 31 percent in Salt Lake City, 26 percent in Miami and Phoenix, and 24 percent in Los Angeles. Seattle reported a 3 percent decrease in emergency food requests.
Unemployment and underemployment are the leading causes of hunger, the report said, with high housing costs, medical costs, substance abuse and high utility costs also playing a role. Lack of affordable housing is the leading cause of homelessness, followed by mental illness and substance abuse.
About 23 percent of homeless people are considered mentally ill, while 30 percent are substance abusers.
The report does not attempt to calculate raw numbers of homeless or hungry people. It is based on cities' reports on the number of requests for emergency shelter or food, as provided by shelters and food banks.
The conservative Heritage Foundation called the report unreliable and exaggerated. It issued a statement saying it is implausible that the hunger rate could grow by double digits nearly every year for 20 years and cited Census Bureau (news - web sites) surveys showing a relatively small increase in the use of food banks since 1995.
Philip Mangano, the federal government's top administrator on homeless issues, said the concerns raised by the survey are valid, even if the numbers are a bit fuzzy.
"In cities around our country there is the perception and in some cases, through data, the reality of increased homelessness throughout our country," said Mangano, director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. "I think the spirit of this survey is to indicate to the country that we have a long way to go on the issues of homelessness, housing and hunger."
The study also found:
_Requests for food assistance by families with children increased by 13 percent.
_Fifty-six percent of people needing emergency food were members of families.
_Twenty-three percent of requests for emergency shelter by homeless people were unmet due to lack of resources.
The cities surveyed are Boston; Burlington, Vt.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Charleston, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Cleveland; Denver; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; Louisville, Ky.; Los Angeles; Miami; Nashville, Tenn.; New Orleans; Norfolk, Va.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Providence, R.I.; St. Paul, Minn.; Salt Lake City; San Antonio; San Francisco; Santa Monica, Calif.; Seattle; and Trenton, N.J.
Many homely people too and fat ones.
Homeless population increases, global warming getting near extremes, air pollution starting to affect the elderly, grandmas eating pet food, SUV's killing record numbers of innocents, AIDS on the increase.....
And all of this has happened since 2 November?
Break it down:
..."...Unemployment and underemployment are the leading causes of hunger, the report said, with high housing costs, medical costs, substance abuse and high utility costs also playing a role.
How many Homeless are receiving SSI or SSD or both SSD/SSI?
Plenty of MEDICAL coverage comes with all 3 of those options. Plenty of guarranteed monthly CASH benefits come with those options. Free Food Kitchen outlets and Food Stamps usually come with those options. People choosing to live in shelters, and in furnished rooms usually have low or no Utility Costs nor Rental fees.
What is left?---SUBSTANCE abuse costs--of course.. Those aren't free yet. Homeless people still have to work to purchase those necessities of life.
There are 2 things going on here.
1) This year's data will be skewed by multiple hurricane events. Not all of the funding for the hurricane relief necessarily goes through fema or red cross.
2) This is a game that cities play. They inflate the numbers a little more everytime they make a federal request for funding. They want a little extra "just in case" and if some of that money gets "lost" and shows up in some entertainment account, so much the better for the city administrators.
The AP is off on a jihad against anything the Bush
Administration is about.
Just tonight, look over the AP threads...It's like all the
bile and vitriol of the left had been dumped in one day.
The New York AP Editors must have gotten a new slough of
DNC faxes and are acting on every one.
Nobody listens or cares, because the reports are bogus, non-existant during demoncrapt presidency, horrible during a Republican Presicency??
I was in the second or third grade when we read Aesop's Fables.
They all impressed me (e.g. grasshopper and ant), but the story of the boy who cried wolf too often stands out in its verity in these daily bits of "The Sky is Falling".
Nobody does listen or care. As you say, the reports are largely bogus.
I feel for any human who, by dint of ill-fortune is hungry, cold, and homeless. I can even muster a glimmer of sympathy for the alkys and crackheads who beg money.
But why does the press only notice this during Republican administrations?
The press makes up bogus numbers to make the Republicans look bad, but most know what the "game" is and don't fall for it. Some are not so smart and look like idiots. We call them liberal demoncrapts!
LOL! I'll admit, it took me a second or two...but I got it!!
Rush will have fun with this tomorrow.
As probably the only Freeper to have founded a Food Bank and been President of a Food Bank board of directors, I have to disagree with you. Recipients of SSI and SSD are not eligible for Food Stamps.
"Free Food Kitchens" do not "come with" those options. Food Kitchens, Dining Rooms, Food Banks, are private charities, not government programs, although they may receives some government grants.
Most people in shelters DO NOT CHOOSE to live there. Statistics show that most homeless do not stay that way. They use the shelters and get housing.
I know, I kept the records and did the statistics for a Food Bank that served over 100,000 people every year... and we tracked that kind of information.
There is a small group of the homeless (about 7%) who choose that lifestyle (they were once called hoboes). Three of them, Butch, Jim and his twin brother Sam, chose to live on the Delta west of Stockton. They are all Viet-nam veterans. They did itenerant labor, slept outdoors under a bridge, and got around on bicycles. They came to our Food Bank occasionally but we always knew they would show up when it was raining... to help unload our trucks because they liked the rain, and knew our volunteers didn't. Butch came in the week after Easter to tell us that Sam had been hit and killed instantly by a hit-and-run driver while bicycling to an odd job on Easter Sunday. Just a week later it was raining and Butch and Sam showed up to unload our trucks in the rain.
Those who choose to be homeless are the rareties. Most homeless people are homeless because of unfortunately circumstances. That includes those I call the "walking wounded," which include the mentally ill and substance abusers... these will always be there because we cannot cure the substance abusers until THEY want to change and we cannot treat the mentally ill because of the ACLU and their ilk who prevent them from being institutionalized.
Many of the homeless I have met are homeless for only a month or two... and generally are there because they were evicted because they couldn't meet the rent on time. Many of them were children under 10 years old, homeless because their families got evicted. Try to rent another apartment or house when your landlord keeps your security deposit, the rent you paid is 3/4s of your income and the new place's management wants first and last months rent AND another security deposit. It ain't easy.
Why didn't they pay the rent on time? Here are some of the reasons: Mom lost her 2nd job. Dad got sick and the his employer doesn't offer sick-leave. The car Dad and Mom need to get to work broke down and HAD to be fixed so they could work. Death in the family and funeral costs. Fire in the apartment complex. Flood. The welfare worker for the single Mom and her three children went on vacation without completing her application for assistance. A student mother's Food Stamps that fed her and her kids were docked because she received a Pell Grant to go to school and she HAD to buy food from money ear-marked for the rent. The work car got confiscated because their insurance lapsed because they had to pay the rent last month.
Furnished rooms... That's a "flop house", and the rents usually are close to what you could rent a two bedroom apartment for IF the renter were creditworthy. You should see some of the "furnished rooms" that are available to the indigent. As to medical coverage... SSD recipients only qualify for Medicare after TWO YEARS on the meager income of SSD. Same for SSI recipients.
I would like to see YOU survive on the "Plenty of guaranteed monthly CASH benefits". The rents for a ONE bedroom apartment in this area start at $625 per month... just about equal to the cash benefit of SSD and SSI for many of the recipients. OK, that covers the rent. Now, how do they pay the utility bill? Clothing? FOOD?
The demand for emergency food is DOWN this year... contrary to what I see many other food banks claiming. Funding is always better if you can cry doom and gloom. . . but the MSM only gets on board when there is a Republican in the Oval Office!
Must disagree with you on all topics. I spent 30 years in the field as an outreach worker, an on-site worker, a case manager, and as an administrator. While there are some, and few, cases to back each contention you make, the majority of homeless are not destitute. There are far too many who find the life-style comfortable. Many will complain, on-cue, to the naive--try talking to them when their guard is down. (Ever heard of the expression 'carny-people'?). People will always choose to WANT what others will GIVE them.
We can start a General Chat on this topic, if you wish and maybe we can get some responses going. This is an interesting topic with more possible solutions than first appear.
"A Freeper Guide to Homelessness".?.
Wonder how many illegal aliens these agencies are feeding? Of course, they could never be so rude as to ask about citizenship, but I'll bet subtracting that group would cut the over-all totals dramatically.
Ah yes. You know a Republican is about to be Inaugurated when the "homeless and hungry" Bloody Shirt is raised by the press. Next up is the " old people eating dog food" story. Film at 11.